- Paranasal sinuses
Paranasal sinuses Paranasal sinuses. Lateral projection of the paranasal sinuses Latin sinus paranasales Gray's subject #223 998 Dorlands/Elsevier Paranasal sinuses
Paranasal sinuses are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity (maxillary sinuses), above and between the eyes (ethmoid sinuses and frontal sinuses), and behind the ethmoids (sphenoid sinuses). The sinuses are named for the facial bones behind which they are located.
Types in humans
Humans possess a number of paranasal sinuses, divided into subgroups that are named according to the bones within which the sinuses lie:
- the maxillary sinuses, also called the maxillary antrechea and the largest of the paranasal sinuses, are under the eyes, in the maxillary bones.
- the frontal sinuses, superior to the eyes, in the frontal bone, which forms the hard part of the forehead.
- the ethmoid sinuses, which are formed from several discrete air cells within the ethmoid bone between the nose and the eyes.
- the sphenoid sinuses, in the sphenoid bone at the center of the skull base under the pituitary gland.
The paranasal air sinuses are lined with respiratory epithelium (ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium).
Paranasal sinuses form developmentally through excavation of bone by air-filled sacs (pneumatic diverticula) from the nasal cavity. This process begins prenatally, and it continues through the course of an organism's lifetime.
Sinuses in animals
Paranasal sinuses occur in a variety of animals (including most mammals, birds, non-avian dinosaurs, and crocodilians). In non-humans, the bones occupied by sinuses are quite variable.
The biological role of the sinuses is debated, but a number of possible functions have been proposed:
- Decreasing the relative weight of the front of the skull, and especially the bones of the face.
- Increasing resonance of the voice.
- Providing a buffer against blows to the face.
- Insulating sensitive structures like dental roots and eyes from rapid temperature fluctuations in the nasal cavity.
- Humidifying and heating of inhaled air because of slow air turnover in this region.
The paranasal sinuses are joined to the nasal cavity via small orifices called ostia. These become blocked easily by allergic inflammation, or by swelling in the nasal lining which occurs with a cold. If this happens, normal drainage of mucus within the sinuses is disrupted, and sinusitis may occur.
These conditions may be treated with drugs such as pseudoephedrine, which causes vasoconstriction in the sinuses, reducing inflammation, by traditional techniques of nasal irrigation, or by corticosteroid.
Malignancies of the paranasal sinuses comprise approximately 0.2% of all malignancies. About 80% of these malignancies arise in the maxillary sinus. Men are much more often affected than women. They most often occur in the age group between 40 and 70 years. Carcinomas are more frequent than sarcomas. Metastases are rare. Tumours of the sphenoid and frontal sinuses are extremely rare.
- Paranasal+sinuses at eMedicine Dictionary
- The Anatomy Wiz: CT Paranasal Sinuses
- Sinus Problems FAQ
- Sinusitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Head and neck, upper RT: Nose (TA A06.1, TH H3.05.01, GA 10.992) External nose Nasal cavityOpeningsLateral wallMedial wall Paranasal sinuses Naso-pharynx
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.