Calculating nasoseptal flap dimensions: a cadaveric study using cone beam computed tomography

Ellen ten Dam*, Astrid G. W. Korsten-Meijer, Rutger H. Schepers, Wicher J. van der Meer, Peter O. Gerrits, Bernard F. A. M. van der Laan, Robert A. Feijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We hypothesize that three-dimensional imaging using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is suitable for calculating nasoseptal flap (NSF) dimensions. To evaluate our hypothesis, we compared CBCT NSF dimensions with anatomical dissections. The NSF reach and vascularity were studied. In an anatomical study (n = 10), CBCT NSF length and surface were calculated and compared with anatomical dissections. The NSF position was evaluated by placing the NSF from the anterior sphenoid sinus wall and from the sella along the skull base towards the frontal sinus. To visualize the NSF vascularity in CBCT, the external carotic arteries were perfused with colored Iomeron. Correlations between CBCT NSFs and anatomical dissections were strongly positive (r > 0.70). The CBCT NSF surface was 19.8 cm(2) [16.6-22.3] and the left and right CBCT NSF lengths were 78.3 mm [73.2-89.5] and 77.7 mm [72.2-88.4] respectively. Covering of the anterior skull base was possible by positioning the NSF anterior to the sphenoid sinus. If the NSF was positioned from the sella along the skull base towards the frontal sinus, the NSF reached partially into the anterior ethmoidal sinuses. CBCT is a valuable technique for calculating NSF dimensions. CBCT to demonstrate septum vascularity in cadavers proved to be less suitable. The NSF reach for covering the anterior skull base depends on positioning. This study encourages preoperative planning of a customized NSF, in an attempt to spare septal mucosa. In the concept of minimal invasive surgery, accompanied by providing customized care, this can benefit the patients' postoperative complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2371-2379
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2015


  • Nasoseptal flap
  • Skull base reconstruction
  • Preoperative planning
  • Anatomy
  • Cone beam computed tomography
  • Three-dimensional imaging
  • CT
  • HEAD
  • NECK

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