Three-dimensional anatomy of the transantral intraseptal infraorbital canal with the use of cone-beam computed tomography
The transantral or ectopic infraorbital canal (IOC) courses diagonally through the maxillary sinus (MS), thereby being exposed to risk during a number of surgical procedures. A few prior reports have presented evidence of a septa-embedded IOC, albeit only on single-plane slices. We identified this extremely rare variation of the IOC during a retrospective study of the cone-beam computed tomography files of 2 patients. In the first case, which involved a 34-year-old female patient, the canals
... ient, the canals and septa within the MS were bilaterally asymmetrical. On the right side, the sinus roof was attached to a short transverse septum that was traversed by the IOC, while the left sinus featured an oblique large septum that divided it into antero-superior and posterior chambers. The left IOC was embedded within the septum rather than within the orbital floor above the septum. In the second case, which concerned a 36-year-old male patient, the left MS featured an almost completely oblique/vertical septum that divided it into anterior and posterior chambers and also embedded the respective IOC, which was thus absent from the orbital floor. In both cases, infraorbital recesses in the anterior chambers of the MS were found that, if not documented on three-dimensional (3D) renderisations, could have been misidentified as infraorbital (Haller) cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to document the 3D anatomy of an extremely rare variant, namely a septum-embedded transantral IOC. Such a variant, if not adequately documented preoperatively, could divert the transmaxillary corridors down false paths or else expose the IOC to damage during surgical procedures involving access to tumours.