Volumetric assessment of sphenoid sinuses through segmentation on CT scan

Daniele Gibelli, Michaela Cellina, Stefano Gibelli, Antonio Giancarlo Oliva, Marina Codari, Giovanni Termine, Chiarella Sforza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Computed tomography represents the gold standard for the assessment of morphological characteristics of sphenoid sinuses, whose anatomy has acquired a novel interest because of the recent introduction of transsphenoidal surgery and robot-assisted procedures. One of the most relevant parameters for planning surgical intervention is the volume of sphenoid sinuses, and with time few population studies have been published. However, at present, no data are available concerning the relation between volume and anatomical variants of sphenoid sinuses. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated head CT-scans of 100 patients (age range 25–99 years; mean age males 45.0; mean age females 50.5 years) to calculate the volume of sphenoid sinuses through automatic segmentation. Possible statistically significant differences according to sex and variants of pneumatization, and type of sinus were assessed, respectively, through Student’s t test and one-way ANOVA test (p < 0.05). Results: Average volume of sphenoid sinuses in males was 10.005 ± 5.101 cm3, in females 7.920 ± 3.176 cm3. Differences according to sex were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Patients with pneumatization of pterygoid processes, dorsum sellae and anterior clinoid processes had a significantly higher volume than unaffected subjects. Moreover, differences of volume according to the type of sphenoid sinus were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Results show that volume of sphenoid sinuses strongly depend upon the type of sinus and possible pneumatization variants. Moreover, the important of ethnic variability is confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 21 2017


  • Anatomy
  • Biometry
  • CT scan
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sphenoid sinuses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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