Assessment of the prelacrimal recess in maxillary sinus in different sex and age groups using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)

  • Zhaoyue ChenEmail author
  • Jianzhong Wang
  • Qinglian Wang
  • Qun Lu
  • Zhanglong Zheng



The intranasal endoscopic prelacrimal recess approach (PLRA) to the maxillary sinus (MS) has been reported to treat many MS and skull base diseases. However, previous studies revealed that the width of the prelacrimal recess (PLR) shows a large individual variation. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of the PLR in MS according to gender and age.


A series of 701 maxillofacial cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans from adult patients were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were divided into five age groups (18–24 years, 25–34 years, 35–44 years, 45–54 years, and ≥ 55 years) and by sex. The frequencies of occurrence of the PLR in the MS were calculated and compared.


According to the findings obtained from our study, PLR was present in 81.5% of maxillary sinuses. No differences were found when the data distributions of right and left sides were compared. For individuals, the right and left sides were not always symmetrical. The probability of PLR was lesser among women than among men, but this differences was not significant. Another finding of our study was that the percentage of PLR decreased with increasing age among patients aged < 55 years, however, increased again among patients aged ≥ 55 years.


The anatomy of PLR varies among individuals. Careful analysis of individual anatomical structure characteristic is recommended when considering intranasal endoscopic PLRA to the MS. Besides, the age variation of PLR should be considered in order to avoid complications.


Prelacrimal recess Lacrimal recess Prelacrimal recess approach Endoscopic sinus surgery Maxillary sinus Nasolacrimal duct Cone beam computed tomography CBCT 



English translation assistance provided by MR. Jianli Chen with thanks.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. There are no financial disclosures from any authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology, Xiamen Branch, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.Department of Stomatology, Xiamen Branch, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityXiamenChina

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