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July 1965

Concerning Growth of the Sphenoid Sinus

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(1):62-66. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010064015

THE PRECURSORS of the sphenoid sinus are demonstrable in the fourth month of gestation as posterior recesses of the early nasal cavity which extend into the adjacent cartilage. The walls of the chambers which house these recesses are known as the ossicles of Bertin. The ossicles begin to ossify in the fifth month of gestation but do not fuse with the sphenoid bone proper until about the fourth year of life. Pneumatization of the sphenoid bone proper does not start until this osseous union is accomplished.

At birth the primordial sinus cavities may be several millimeters in diameter. By the fourth or fifth year they have usually grown sufficiently to establish close relationship with important adjacent structures. In so doing they take on clinical significance.1-3

Though it is generally agreed that pneumatization of the sphenoid bone proper begins in the third or fourth year of life, the age at