Anatomical variations of sphenoid sinus on multi-detector computed tomography and its usefulness in trans-sphenoidal endoscopic skull base surgery


  • Manisha S. Lokwani Department of Radio-diagnosis, N.S.C.B. Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Jayant Patidar Department of Neurosurgery, N.S.C.B. Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Vijay Parihar Department of Neurosurgery, N.S.C.B. Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India



Anatomical variation, Pneumatization, Septation pattern, Sphenoid sinus, Trans-sphenoidal endoscopic surgery


Background: Knowledge of sphenoid bone and sinus anatomy and its variations is of central importance in transsphenoidal endoscopic skull base surgery. It allows endoscopic surgeon to safely approach the sella turcica, anterior skull base and orbit. The aim of the study was to evaluate the different anatomical variations of the sphenoid sinus that are relevant to trans-sphenoid endoscopic skull base surgery on multi-detector computed tomography.

Methods: A prospective observational study of the CT analysis of the anatomical variations and various dimensions of sphenoid sinus relevant to trans-sphenoidal endoscopic neurosurgery was performed in 260 patients (173 male; 87 female).

Results: The average presellar width of sphenoid sinus on axial CT scan images was 11.75mm (7.2 to 18.6mm). Average value of maximum width of sphenoid sinus was 30.52 mm (13.1 to 42.2 mm). The most common pattern of inter-sphenoid septum was single septum which was present in 207 patients (79.61%); double inter sphenoid septum in 47 patients (18.1%) and diverging septa in 13 patients (5%). 138 out of 260 subjects (53%) showed at least one septum attached to either carotid protuberance. Most common pattern of pneumatization in sphenoid sinus was sellar type (63.46%). Average suprasellar depth was 10.78 (5.4 to 18.7mm). Average presellar depth of sphenoid sinus was 13.47mm (8.1 to 22.5mm). Average infrasellar depth of sphenoid sinus was 25.46mm (11.9 to 37.9mm). Average presellar height of sphenoid sinus was 21.27mm (13 to 27.6mm).

Conclusions: A preoperative review of the sphenoid sinus anatomy by CT allows safer endoscopic management of skull base pathology preventing injury to vital structures surrounding the sphenoid sinus.


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How to Cite

Lokwani, M. S., Patidar, J., & Parihar, V. (2018). Anatomical variations of sphenoid sinus on multi-detector computed tomography and its usefulness in trans-sphenoidal endoscopic skull base surgery. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 6(9), 3063–3071.



Original Research Articles