World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Frontal sinus

Article Id: WHEBN0003255082
Reproduction Date:

Title: Frontal sinus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Supraorbital nerve, Semilunar hiatus, Anterior ethmoidal artery, Paranasal sinuses, Saadanius
Collection: Bones of the Head and Neck
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Frontal sinus

Frontal sinus
Nose and nasal cavities
Latin sinus frontales
supra-orbital, anterior ethmoidal
supraorbital nerve
MeSH A04.531.621.387
Anatomical terminology

The frontal sinus are situated behind the brow ridges. Sinuses are mucosa-lined airspaces within the bones of the face and skull. Each opens into the anterior part of the corresponding middle nasal meatus of the nose through the frontonasal duct which traverses the anterior part of the labyrinth of the ethmoid. These structures then open into the hiatus semilunaris in the middle meatus.


  • Structure 1
    • Development 1.1
  • Function 2
  • Clinical significance 3
  • Additional images 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Frontal sinuses are rarely symmetrical and the septum between them frequently deviates to one or other side of the middle line. Their average measurements are as follows: height 28 mm, breadth 24 mm, depth 20 mm, creating a space of 6-7 ml.[1]

The mucous membrane in this sinus is innervated by the supraorbital nerve, which carries the postganglionic parasympathetic nerve fibers for mucous secretion from the ophthalmic nerve and supplied by the supraorbital artery and anterior ethmoidal artery.


The frontal sinuses are absent at birth, but are generally fairly well developed between the seventh and eighth years, only reaching their full size after puberty.[2] The frontal bone is membranous at birth and there is rarely more than a recess until the bone tissue starts to ossify about age two. Consequently this structure does not show on radiographs before that time. Sinus development begins in the womb, but only the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses are present at birth. Approximately 5% of people have absent frontal sinuses.[3]


Through its copious mucus production, the sinus is an essential part of the immune defense/air filtration carried out by the nose. Nasal and sinal mucosae are ciliated and move mucus to the choanae and finally to the stomach. The thick upper layers of nasal mucus trap bacteria and small particles in tissue abundantly provided with immune cells, antibodies, and antibacterial proteins. The layers beneath are thinner and provide a substrate in which the cilia are able to beat and move the upper layer with its debris through the ostia toward the choanae.

Clinical significance

Infection of the frontal sinus causing sinusitis can give rise to serious complications, as it is in close proximity to the orbit and cranial cavity (orbital cellulitis, epidural and subdural abscess, meningitis).[2]

Fractures may range from isolated anterior table fractures resulting in a simple aesthetic deformity to complex fractures involving the frontal recess, orbits, skull base, and intracranial contents; the risk of long term complication is high and the treatment controversial.[4]

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ University of Texas Medical Branch
  2. ^ a b Human Anatomy, Jacobs, Elsevier, 2008, page 210
  3. ^ The University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
  4. ^ Strong, b, Frontal Sinus Fractures: Current Concepts, Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstr. 2009 October; 2(3): 161–175 at

External links

  • Anatomy photo:33:st-0703 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • lesson9 at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (latnasalwall3, nasalcavitfrontsec)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.