Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 209–219 | Cite as

Analysis of the development of human foetal nasal turbinates using CBCT imaging

  • Rieko Asaumi
  • Yoko Miwa
  • Taisuke Kawai
  • Iwao SatoEmail author
Original Article



The morphological structure of the nasal cavity (NC) is important for endoscopic surgical treatment. The location of nasal turbinates, including the superior turbinate (ST), middle turbinate (MT) and inferior turbinate (IT), are well presented during the formation of the human NC in cone beam CT (CBCT) images. There is a complex relationship between the nasal sinuses, the maxillary sinus (MS), ethmoidal sinus and sphenoid sinus, during formation of the NC structure at the morphological level. There is a need to clearly define the relationships of these nasal elements at the ossification level, during development.


We investigated the three-dimensional construction of human foetal NC elements, including ST, MT, IT and vomer, using CBCT images from 16 weeks gestation (E16) to E31 (25 foetuses) and compared it to histochemical observations (E25).


At the stage of ossification, the studied elements are elongated in the posterior region near the sphenoidal bone, showing that the locations of the ST, MT, and IT are important during formation of the NC. CBCT analysis revealed that the horizontal and vertical directions of nasal turbinates affect the formation of the human NC.


The location and elongated development of the MT is one of the most important elements for NC formation. The relationship between the nasal sinus and nasal turbine at the level of ossification may provide useful information in clinical treatment of children.


CBCT Nasal turbinate Nasal cavity Maxillary sinus Foetus 


Author contributions

Protocol/project development IS, RA. Data collection and management RA, TK. Data analysis YM. Manuscript writing/editing RA, TK, IS.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Life Dentistry at TokyoThe Nippon Dental UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of Life Dentistry at TokyoThe Nippon Dental UniversityTokyoJapan

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