Nasal cavity

Nasal cavity: Anatomy & ContentsKey facts about the anatomy of the nasal cavity. Nasal conchae (turbinates). Nasal meatuses
~ 3 min

In this PDF-note, we are going to examine the nasal cavity (cavum nasi).

The opening from the front is called the piriform aperture (apertura piriformis), under which the anterior nasal spine (spina nasalis anterior) protrudes from below.

Piriform aperture (apertura piriformis)
Piriform aperture (apertura piriformis)
Anterior nasal spine (spina nasalis anterior)
Anterior nasal spine (spina nasalis anterior)

The posterior foramina of the nasal cavity are called choanae (choanae). These connect the nasal cavity with the cavity of the pharynx.

Choanae (choanae)
Choanae (choanae)

The nasal cavity is divided into two halves by the nasal septum. It consists of three parts:

  • a bony part (pars ossea)

  • a cartilaginous part (pars cartilaginea)

  • a membranous part (pars membranacea). The bony part is formed by:

  • the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis ethmoidalis)

    Perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis ethmoidalis)
    Perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis ethmoidalis)
  • the vomer (vomer)

    Vomer (vomer)
    Vomer (vomer)

The nasal cavity contains three walls:

  • a roof (paries superior)

  • a floor (paries inferior)

  • a lateral wall (paries lateralis)

The roof is formed by:

  • the internal surface of the nasal bone (facies interna ossis nasalis)

    Nasal bone (os nasale)
    Nasal bone (os nasale)
  • the nasal part of the frontal bone (pars nasalis ossis frontalis)

    Nasal part of frontal bone (pars nasalis ossis frontalis)
    Nasal part of frontal bone (pars nasalis ossis frontalis)
  • the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone (lamina cribrosa ossis ethmoidalis)

    Cribriform plate of ethmoid bone (lamina cribrosa ossis ethmoidalis)
    Cribriform plate of ethmoid bone (lamina cribrosa ossis ethmoidalis)
  • the body of the sphenoid bone (corpus ossis sphenoidalis)

    Body of sphenoid bone (corpus ossis sphenoidalis)
    Body of sphenoid bone (corpus ossis sphenoidalis)

    The floor is formed by:

  • the palatine process of the maxilla (processus palatinus maxillae)

    Frontal process of maxilla (processus palatinus maxillae)
    Frontal process of maxilla (processus palatinus maxillae)
  • the horizontal plate of the palatine bone (lamina horizontalis ossis palatini)

    Perpendicular plate of palatine bone (lamina horyzontalis ossis palatini)
    Perpendicular plate of palatine bone (lamina horyzontalis ossis palatini)

    The lateral wall is formed by:

  • the frontal process of the maxilla (processus frontalis maxillae)

    Frontal process of maxilla (processus frontalis maxillae)
    Frontal process of maxilla (processus frontalis maxillae)
  • the nasal bone (os nasale)

    Nasal bone (os nasale)
    Nasal bone (os nasale)
  • the lacrimal bone (os lacrimale)

    Lacrimal bone(os lacrimale)
    Lacrimal bone(os lacrimale)
  • the ethmoidal labyrinth (labyrinthus ethmoidalis)

    Ethmoidal labyrinth (labyrinthus ethmoidalis)
    Ethmoidal labyrinth (labyrinthus ethmoidalis)
  • the inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)

    Inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)
    Inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)
  • the perpendicular plate of the palatine bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis palatini)

    Perpendicular plate of palatine bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis palatini)
    Perpendicular plate of palatine bone (lamina perpendicularis ossis palatini)
  • the lateral plate of the pterygoid process (lamina medialis processus pterygoidei ossis sphenoidalis)

    Lateral plate of pterygoid process (lamina medialis processus pterygoidei ossis sphenoidalis)
    Lateral plate of pterygoid process (lamina medialis processus pterygoidei ossis sphenoidalis)

Three nasal conchae can be seen on the lateral wall:

  • the superior nasal concha (concha nasalis superior)

    Superior nasal concha (concha nasalis superior)
    Superior nasal concha (concha nasalis superior)
  • the middle nasal concha (concha nasalis media)

    Middle nasal concha (concha nasalis media)
    Middle nasal concha (concha nasalis media)
  • the inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)

    Inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)
    Inferior nasal concha (concha nasalis inferior)
  • Occasionally, there is also the supreme nasal concha (concha nasalis suprema)

    Supreme nasal concha (concha nasalis suprema)
    Supreme nasal concha (concha nasalis suprema)

    The nasal conchae separate the nasal cavity into three nasal meatuses:

  • the superior nasal meatus (meatus nasi superior), which lies between the superior and middle conchae. This meatus is connected with the posterior ethmoidal cells and the sphenoidal sinus

    Superior nasal meatus (meatus nasi superior)
    Superior nasal meatus (meatus nasi superior)
  • the middle nasal meatus (meatus nasi medius), which lies between the middle and inferior conchae. It is connected with the anterior and middle ethmoidal cells, as well as the frontal sinus.

    Middle nasal meatus (meatus nasi medius)
    Middle nasal meatus (meatus nasi medius)
  • the inferior nasal meatus (meatus nasi inferior), which is located under the inferior concha.

Inferior nasal meatus (meatus nasi inferior)
Inferior nasal meatus (meatus nasi inferior)

The area between the nasal conchae on one side and the nasal septum on the other side is called the common nasal meatus (meatus nasi communis).

In addition to the openings of the air cavities, there are several other openings in the nasal cavity:

Title Contents Connected to
Incisive canal
(canalis incisivus)
Posterior septal artery, nasopalatine nerve Oral cavity
Incisive canal (canalis incisivus)
Incisive canal (canalis incisivus)
Cribriform foramina
(foramina cribrosa)
Anterior ethmoidal artery, ethmoidal veins, olfactory nerve Anterior cranial fossa
Cribriform foramina (foramina cribrosa)
Cribriform foramina (foramina cribrosa)
Sphenopalatine foramen
(foramen sphenopalatinum)
Sphenopalatine artery and vein, nerve branches of the pterygopalatine ganglion Pterygopalatine fossa
Sphenopalatine foramen (foramen sphenopalatinum)
Sphenopalatine foramen (foramen sphenopalatinum)
Nasolacrimal canal
(canalis nasolacrimalis)
Nasolacrimal duct Orbital cavity
Nasolacrimal canal (canalis nasolacrimalis)
Nasolacrimal canal (canalis nasolacrimalis)
Dictionary

Nasal cavity

nasal cavity
cavum nasi
piriform aperture
apertura piriformis
anterior nasal spine
spina nasalis anterior
choanae
choanae
bony part
pars ossea
cartilaginous part
pars cartilaginea
membranous part
pars membranacea
perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone
lamina perpendicularis ossis ethmoidalis
vomer
vomer
roof
paries superior
floor
paries inferior
lateral wall
paries lateralis
internal surface of nasal bone
facies interna ossis nasalis
nasal part of frontal bone
pars nasalis ossis frontalis
cribriform plate of ethmoid bone
lamina cribrosa ossis ethmoidalis
body of sphenoid bone
corpus ossis sphenoidalis
palatine process of maxilla
processus palatinus maxillae
horizontal plate of palatine bone
lamina horizontalis ossis palatini
frontal process of maxilla
processus frontalis maxillae
nasal bone
os nasale
lacrimal bone
os lacrimale
ethmoidal labyrinth
labyrinthus ethmoidalis
perpendicular plate of palatine bone
lamina perpendicularis ossis palatini
lateral plate of pterygoid process
lamina medialis processus pterygoidei ossis sphenoidalis
superior nasal concha
concha nasalis superior
middle nasal concha
concha nasalis media
inferior nasal concha
concha nasalis inferior
supreme nasal concha
concha nasalis suprema
superior nasal meatus
meatus nasi superior
middle nasal meatus
meatus nasi medius
inferior nasal meatus
meatus nasi inferior
common nasal meatus
meatus nasi communis
incisive canal
canalis incisivus
cribriform foramina
foramina cribrosa
sphenopalatine foramen
foramen sphenopalatinum
nasolacrimal canal
canalis nasolacrimalis
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