Nasal septal cartilage

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 2 Jan 2022

The nasal septal cartilage, also known as quadrangular cartilage, forms most of the anterior portion of the nasal septum, and is one of five named nasal cartilaginous components supporting the external nose.

Most of the anterior one-third of the nasal septum is formed by the septal cartilage, with a contribution superiorly from the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone.

The nasal septal cartilage is usually described as being a four-sided figure. It has long articulations with the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone posterosuperiorly, and vomer posteroinferiorly. The short inferior margin, which lies anteriorly, joins to the nasal crest of the maxilla. Its anterior most articulation inferiorly is to the anterior nasal spine of the maxilla by several loose fibers, forming the relatively mobile chondrospinal junction, giving the anterior septum a degree of lateral flexibility.

There is significant variability in the thickness of any single septal cartilage, with maximal thickness at the base of the septum. Thickness ranges from 0.7-3.0 mm. The surface area of the septal cartilage has been measured by CT in several studies and is unsurprisingly larger in males than females. In general, the septal cartilage forms ~25% of the surface area of the septum.

The septal cartilage is well seen on facial bone CT, including cone beam CT, and MRI 1.

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