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Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2018 Oct-Dec;28(4):395-400. doi: 10.4103/ijri.IJRI_119_18.

Olfactory fossa depth: CT analysis of 1200 patients.

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Department of Radiodiagnosis, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala, India.



Olfactory fossa (OF) is a depression in anterior cranial cavity whose floor is formed by cribriform plate of ethmoid. Lateral lamella, which forms its lateral boundary, is a thin plate of bone and is at risk of injury during functional endoscopic sinus surgery, especially when fossa is deep/asymmetric.


To measure the variations in the depth of OF and categorize Kerala population as per Keros classification using computed tomography (CT).

Settings and Design:

This study was conducted in our institution from January 2016 to August 2017. Patients >16 years of age undergoing CT scan of paranasal sinuses (PNS) were included.

Materials and Methods:

Coronal PNS CT scan studies of 1200 patients were reviewed. The depth of OF was measured from vertical height of lateral lamella.

Statistical Methods:

Results were analyzed according to gender and laterality using independent sample t-test and Chi-square test.


The mean depth of OF was 5.26 ± 1.69 mm. Statistically significant difference was seen in the mean depth of OF between males and females but not between right and left sides. Keros type I was found on 420 sides (17.5%), type II in 1790 (74.6%), and type III on 190 sides (7.9%). Type III Keros was more on the right (9%) than left (6.8%) side, more in males (9.5%) than females (5.9%), and more among males on the right side (11.4%). Asymmetry in OF depth between two sides was seen in 75% of subjects.


Prevalence of the dangerous type III OF, even though low, is significant especially among males and on the right side. Therefore, preoperative assessment of OF depth must be done to reduce iatrogenic complications.


Functional endoscopic sinus surgery; Keros; olfactory fossa

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