Haller cells

Haller cells are also known as infraorbital ethmoidal air cells or maxilloethmoidal cells. They are extramural ethmoidal air cells that extend into the inferomedial orbital floor and are present in ~20% (range 2-45%) of patients, depending on their exact definition 1-3.

In most instances they are asymptomatic and (although some controversy exists 4,5) they are generally not thought to be associated with increased rates of sinusitis 3.

They may become clinically significant in a number of situations:

  • become infected, with the potential for extension into the orbit
  • may narrow the ipsilateral ostiomeatal complex (OMC) if large, thereby predisposing the ipsilateral maxillary antrum to obstruction 4
  • may lead to inadvertent entry into the orbit if unrecognised at endoscopic surgery 4

History and etymology

They are named after Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777) 6, Swiss anatomist and physiologist; he was a qualified medical doctor but was unsuccessful in clinical practice.

See also

Head and neck anatomy
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Article information

rID: 1423
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Infraorbital ethmoidal air cells
  • Maxilloethmoidal cells
  • Maxillo-ethmoidal cells
  • Maxillo-ethmoidal cell
  • Infraorbital ethmoidal air cell
  • Haller's cell
  • Haller's cells

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: Haller cell diagram
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    Case 3: bilateral
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