Survey Anatomy of the Paranasal Sinuses in the Normal Mouse


  • This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, DC00022(T32 Jacob, PI: Neely), DC04890 to 01A1(RO-3 PI: Jacob), a Core grant (P30 DC004665 PI: Simmons), and the Department of Otolaryngology.

    Abraham Jacob, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University School of Medicine, 456 W. 10th Avenue, Room 4024 B, Columbus, OH 43210, U.S.A.


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.