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December 1990

Anterior Ethmoid Anatomy Facilitates Dacryocystorhinostomy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown. Dr Blaylock is now with the Department of Ophthalmology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk. Dr Linberg is now with the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic Foundation.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(12):1774-1777. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070140128045

• The ethmoid air cell labyrinth lies adjacent to the medial orbital wall, extending even beyond the sutures of the ethmoid bone. Its anatomic relationship to the lacrimal sac fossa is important in lacrimal surgery. We evaluated computed tomographic scans of 190 orbits with normal ethmoid anatomy to define the anatomic relationship of anterior ethmoid air cells to the lacrimal sac fossa. In 93% of the orbits, the cells extended anterior to the posterior lacrimal crest, with 40% entering the frontal process of the maxilla. This anatomic relationship may be used to facilitate the osteotomy during dacryocystorhinostomy. During a 10-year period (310 cases), one of us routinely entered the anterior ethmoid air cells to initiate the osteotomy during dacryocystorhinostomy. This technique has helped to avoid lacerations of the nasal mucosa.

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