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Int J Otolaryngol. 2011;2011:508907. doi: 10.1155/2011/508907. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Height of right and left ethmoid roofs: aspects of laterality in 644 patients.

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Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Elbandklinikum Radebeul, Heinrich-Zille-Stra β e 13, 01445 Radebeul, Germany.



The goal of the study was to determine the asymmetric distribution of the height of the ethmoid roof (fovea ethmoidalis).


We retrospectively reviewed 644 coronal sinus computer tomography (CT) scans. The height of the ethmoid roof was examined for possible lateral differences between the right and left sides.


In 221 CT scans (31%), there was an asymmetry between the height of the fovea ethmoidalis on the right and left side. Of these 221, 160 (72.4%) were lower on the right side, whereas 61 (27.6%) were lower on the left. The height of the ethmoid roof of the remaining 433 patients (66%) was symmetric. There were statistically significantly more asymmetric cases in men than in women (38% versus 29%).


The present paper underlines the asymmetry, variability of the ethmoid roof, and the possible practical implications arising from that fact. The asymmetry of the roof of one side presents an additional point of consideration for careful preoperative and perioperative review of paranasal sinus CT scans in patients undergoing endonasal sinus surgery.

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