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Unique air inclusions within the nasopalatine duct indicating its presence radiographically: a case presentation

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The anterior maxilla is characterized by the nasopalatine canal that originates bilaterally from the anterior nasal floor, subsequently fuses, and terminates at the incisive foramen in the anterior palate. Embryologically, this structure forms within the primary palate, and contains the neurovascular bundle, but also continuous epithelialized bands. The latter, termed nasopalatine ducts, usually degenerate and/or obliterate before birth. However, in some individuals, the ducts may remain partially or completely patent. The present case report describes for the first time in the literature a rare finding of air inclusions within the anatomical area of the nasopalatine canal indicating the presence of a nasopalatine duct as visualized with cone beam computed tomography. The patient was asymptomatic and the radiographic findings were seen incidentally. An endoscopic inspection of the anterior nasal cavities confirmed the presence of the nasal openings of the partially patent nasopalatine ducts.

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The authors thank the patient for the permission to publish her case.

Author information

TA: project development; manuscript writing. MMB: manuscript editing. SFMJ: examination and treatment of case, manuscript editing.

Correspondence to Thomas von Arx.

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von Arx, T., Bornstein, M.M. & Janner, S.F.M. Unique air inclusions within the nasopalatine duct indicating its presence radiographically: a case presentation. Surg Radiol Anat (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00276-020-02428-4

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  • Anterior maxilla
  • Nasopalatine canal
  • Nasopalatine duct
  • Case report
  • Anterior nasal floor