Concha bullosa: CT evaluation

S. James Zinreich, Douglas E. Mattox, David W. Kennedy, Helen L. Chisholm, David M. Diffley, Arthur E. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Aeration of the middle turbinate, termed “concha bullosa,” is a common anatomical variant of intranasal anatomy. Of 320 patients evaluated for sinus disease with coronal CT, 34% had concha bullosa on at least one side. The overall incidence of inflammatory disease in the ostiomeatal complex in these symptomatic patients was not different between those with and without concha bullosa. However, there were many cases in which an abnormally large middle turbinate appeared to obstruct the ostiomeatal complex causing secondary infection of the ethmoid, frontal, and maxillary sinuses. Obstruction of drainage of the concha bullosa itself can lead to mucocele formation. Furthermore, the presence of a concha bullosa has important implications for the technique of endoscopic surgery used in the management of the sinus disease. The anatomy, pathophysiology, and CT findings in patients with concha bullosa are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-784
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1988


  • Computed tomography
  • Concha bullosa
  • Paranasal
  • Sinuses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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