• Mouse;
  • sinonasal anatomy;
  • sinusitis;
  • rhinosinusistis;
  • normal mouse sinus anatomy


Objective: To provide researchers with a survey atlas of normal paranasal sinus anatomy in the mouse as well as to standardize the reporting of data within the murine nose and sinuses.

Study Design: Histologic and radiographic study in mice.

Methods: C57BL/6 mice were killed and their heads sectioned in the axial and coronal planes as well as imaged using a small animal micro-computed tomography (CT) scanner. Distinctive regions within the nose and paranasal sinuses were delineated and labeled A to G for identification.

Results: Definable regions within the normal murine nose and paranasal sinuses include A) the nasal airway, B) the superior nasal vault, C) the osteomeatal complex, D) the anterior ethmoid sinuses, E) the posterior ethmoid sinuses, F) the true maxillary sinus, and G) the secondary maxillary sinus. Mice also possess discernible sphenoid sinuses. CT scans confirmed the histologic plane of section.

Conclusions: A survey atlas of normal murine sinonasal anatomy shall provide laboratories seeking to use mice in sinus research a reference for beginning their work. As new transgenic and gene knockout mice become available, phenotypic changes in sinonasal architecture can be more easily discerned using such a reference. Defining specific regions (A-G) within the sinuses will standardize the nomenclature used for reporting data.