The sphenoid sinus was not recognized as a possible source of infection until 1905.1 At that time and later (in 19082), Onodi first described the anatomic connections between the posterior group of sinuses and the optic canal. As a result of his observations he felt that he had definitely established an etiologic relation between disturbances of vision and disease of the posterior ethmoid cells and the sphenoid sinuses.
Loeb3 in 1909 corroborated Onodi's work, and Schaeffer4 in 1920 again emphasized this as a definite fact. They all showed that it is not uncommon for the posterior ethmoid cells and the sphenoid sinus to encroach on the optic canal, making it "abnormally small," a condition which may lead to serious pressure on the nerve, with ophthalmologic symptoms.
In 1927, Crane5 expressed the opinion that not only is there a likelihood of direct extension of infection from this relation but that simple
TREMBLE GE. IRRIGATION OF THE SPHENOID SINUS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;32(5):952–957. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660020959014
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