This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content, and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Ostiomeatal complex

The ostiomeatal complex (or unit) is a common channel that links the frontal sinus, anterior and middle ethmoid sinuses and the maxillary sinus to the middle meatus that allows air flow and mucocililary drainage. 

Gross anatomy

The ostiometal complex is composed of five structures:

  • maxillary ostium - drainage channel of the maxillary sinus
  • infundibilum - common channel that drains the ostia of the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses to the hiatus semilunaris
  • ethmoidal bulla - usually a single air cell that projects inferomedially over the hiatus semilunaris
  • uncinate process - hook-like process that arises from the posteromedial aspect of the nasolacrimal duct and forms the anterior boundary of the hiatus semilunaris
  • hiatus semilunaris - final drainage passage; a region between the ethmoid bulla superiorly and free-edge of the uncinate process

Variant antatomy

There are a wide range of anatomical variants that affect the many structures that compose the ostiomeatal complex and are not pathological in themselves but their presence can result in disease. See main article - ostiometal narrowing due to nasal anatomical variation - for the complete list. 

Related pathology


Related articles

Head and neck anatomy

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert_accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.