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Radiologia Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1678-7099


GONCALVES, Fabrício Guimarães; JOVEM, Cássio Lemos  and  MOURA, Leonardo de Oliveira. Computed tomography of intra- and extramural ethmoid cells: iconographic essay. Radiol Bras [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.5, pp.321-326. ISSN 1678-7099.

The development of the paranasal sinuses is an intricate process that begins in the intrauterine life and terminates in early adulthood. Among the paranasal sinuses, the ethmoid cells or labyrinth are probably the most complex structures, being associated with the highest number of normal variants. Variations in the pattern of pneumatization of the ethmoid cells can be divided into intra- and extramural cells. Intramural cells are those which develop within the ethmoid labyrinth. Extramural cells are those that develop isolatedly. Computed tomography is the most useful tool in the evaluation of inflammatory processes of the paranasal sinuses. Computed tomography also plays a relevant role in the preoperative planning as well as in the postoperative follow-up, since it demonstrates exact anatomical details of normal structures with accuracy in the detection of variants. In the present pictorial essay, the authors describe the most common anatomical variants of the ethmoid labyrinth and their relationship with adjacent structures. Endoscopic sinonasal surgery has become increasingly less invasive, requiring more detailed anatomical imaging of this region.

Keywords : Computed tomography; Ethmoid sinus.

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