Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 551–553 | Cite as

A quite rare condition: absence of sphenoidal sinuses

  • Mustafa Orhan
  • Figen Govsa
  • Canan Saylam
Original Article


The absence of sphenoidal sinuses (SS) in an adult is an extremely rare condition. We investigated in agenesis of the sphenoid, maxillary, ethmoid, and frontal sinuses in 20 male adult cadavers. In a 50-year-old man, bilateral absence of the SS was observed. On the macroscopic examination, opening of the SS was not found on the lateral wall of the nasal cavity. There were multiple small mucosal grooves between the sphenoidal rostrum and the superior nasal turbinates. The bulging of the sphenoidal rostrum at the choanal level was flat. The body of the sphenoid bone was normal and consisted of a symmetrical bony structure with a total lack of pneumatization. Other paranasal sinuses agenesis was not observed. Surgeons should also consider the possibility of sphenoidal agenesis before transsphenoidal hypophysectomy. As a supplement to the traditional classification, agenesis of the SS can be described as the fourth type of pneumatization.


Sphenoid sinus Absence Agenesis Anatomy 


Conflict of interest statement

No financial conflict of interest exists with any commercial entity whose products are described, reviewed, evaluated or compared in the manuscript. None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the product, devices or drugs mentioned in this article.


  1. 1.
    Anderhuber W, Weiglein A, Wolf G (1992) Nasal cavities and paranasal sinuses in newborn and children. Acta Anat 144:120–126CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anik I, Anik Y, Koc K, Ceylan S (2005) Agenesis of sphenoid sinuses. Clin Anat 18(3):217–219CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Antoniades K, Vahtsevanos K, Psimopoulou M, Karakasis D (1996) Agenesis of sphenoid sinus: case report. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 58(6):347–349PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arslan H, Aydinlioglu A, Bozkurt M, Egeli E (1999) Anatomic variations of the paranasal sinuses: CT examination for endoscopic sinus surgery. Auris Nasus Larynx 26:39–48CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Aydinlioglu A, Erdem S (2004) Maxillary and sphenoid sinus aplasia in Turkish individuals: a retrospective review using computed tomography. Clin Anat 17(8):618–622CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Degirmenci B, Haktanir A, Acar M, Albayrak R, Yucel A (2005) Agenesis of sphenoid sinus: three cases. Surg Radiol Anat 27(4):351–353CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Digre KB, Maxner CE, Crawford S, Yuh WT (1989) Significance of CT and MR findings in sphenoid sinus disease. Am J Neuroradiol 10:603–606PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hajek M (1926) Pathologie und Therapie der entzündlichen Erkranungen der Nebenhöhlen der Nase, 5th edn. Leipzig, p 76Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kantarci M, Karasen RM, Alper F, Onbas O, Okur A, Karaman A (2004) Remarkable anatomic variations in paranasal sinus region and their clinical importance. Eur J Radiol 50:296–302CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kazkayasi M, Karadeniz Y, Arikan OK (2005) Anatomic variations of the sphenoid sinus on computed tomography. Rhinology 43(2):109–114PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Keskin G, Ustundag E, Ciftci E (2002) Agenesis of sphenoid sinuses. Surg Radiol Anat 24(5):324–326CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lang J (1988) Klinische Anatomie der Nase. Nasenhohle und Nebenhohlen. Thieme, Stuttgart, pp 87–88Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Peele JC (1957) Unusual anatomical variations of the sphenoid sinusses. Laryngoscope 67:208–237PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Peres-Pinas I, Sabate J, Carmona A, Catalina-Herrera CJ, Jimenez-Castellanos J (2000) Anatomical variations in the human paranasal sinus region studied by CT. J Anat 197:221–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sirikci A, Bayazit YA, Bayram M, Mumbuc S, Gungor K, Kanlikama M (2000) Variations of sphenoid and related structures. Eur Radiol 10:844–848CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tasar M, Yetiser S, Saglam M, Tasar A (2003) Congenital common cavity deformity of frontal, ethmoid, and sphenoid sinuses. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 40(6):639–641CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wong AM, Bilaniuk LT, Zimmerman RA, Simon EM, Pollock AN (2004) Magnetic resonance imaging of carotid artery abnormalities in patients with sphenoid sinusitis. Neuroradiology 46(1):54–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

Personalised recommendations