A novel use of a landmark to avoid injury of the anterior ethmoidal artery during endoscopic sinus surgery

Francisco G. Pernas, Andrew M. Coughlin, Sharon E. Hughes, Roy Riascos, Patricia A. Maeso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study was to describe and correlate radiographically the anterior ethmoidal artery (AEA) to useful endoscopic surgical landmarks, such as the nasal beak (NB), nasal crest (NC), and axilla of the middle turbinate, because these are commonly encountered during endoscopic sinus surgery and skull base surgery. Methods: A retrospective review and software analysis was performed by three independent observers. Measurements of distance and angulation from the AEA to the NC, NB, and axilla of the middle turbinate were performed. A total of 138 unique computed tomography (CT) scans performed at a university tertiary care center were evaluated. Results: The average age of the patients whose scans were analyzed was 50.5 (range, 17-90 years) years of age. The gender distribution was 61 male and 89 female patients. After comparing the measurements to the three landmarks noted, it was determined that the NB had the most interpatient concordance and the least interobserver variability. The average distance between the NB and the AEA as it penetrates the lamina papyracea is 2.34 cm (variance, 0.07) at an angle of 45.21° from the Frankfurt horizontal line. Conclusion: The real advantage of this novel use of the NB as a landmark to identify the AEA is that it is easy to use, unobtrusive, and is not time-consuming. This relationship between the NB and the AEA is consistent across genders and ethnicities and is more valuable than others presented previously, which may be more variable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-57
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel use of a landmark to avoid injury of the anterior ethmoidal artery during endoscopic sinus surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this