Which nasal anatomy is relevant to turbinate dysfunction?

Updated: Jun 24, 2021
  • Author: Sanford M Archer, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

The 3 paired turbinates are located on the lateral nasal wall. The superior and middle turbinates are part of the ethmoid bone, whereas the inferior turbinates form a separate and unique bone. Covered by both respiratory and olfactory epithelium, the superior turbinate is located high in the nasal vault and usually arises from the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone. The middle turbinate has a wide variation in origination. This bony extension of the ethmoid can be observed arising from the cribriform plate, the lamina papyracea, or the uncinate process in some cases. [6]

For more information, please see the Medscape Reference articles Nasal Anatomy; Nasal Cavity Anatomy, Physiology, and Anomalies on CT Scan; and CT Scan of the Paranasal Sinuses. The inferior turbinate bone arises on the inferior portion of the lateral nasal walls. The bone itself is penetrated heavily by vascular channels, which supply the overlying respiratory epithelium. The lacrimal duct exits into the nose below the inferior-anterior portion of this structure.


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