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Turbinate Bones (Nasal Conchae)

The image descriptionturbinates  (turbinate bones or nasal conchae) are thin, curved, bony plates that project from the walls of the nasal cavity into the respiratory passageway.

 

A midsagittal view of the turbinates
The turbinates highlighted and labeled
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There are three (3) turbinates on each side of the nasal cavity, and all are covered by a thick layer of mucous membrane (= respiratory or nasal mucosa):

  • The smaller image descriptionsuperior  and image descriptionmiddle turbinates are downward extensions of the ethmoid bone. The larger image descriptioninferior turbinates are individual bones that attach to the maxilla bone. Each extends horizontally along the lateral wall of the nasal cavity and adds surface area to the passageway.

 

A midsagittal view of the turbinates
The superior turbinate highlighted and labeled
The middle turbinate highlighted and labeled
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  • Grooves (or indentations) called meatuses are found between the curved turbinates. The curved shapes of the turbinates and meatuses are best viewed in image descriptioncoronal section.
The coronal view of turbinates and meatus
Coronal view of the superior, middle and inferior meatus
Coronal view of the superior, middle and inferior turbinates
The turbinates and meatuses.
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  • During inhalation, air is directed (see the image below) over and under the turbinates. The surface mucosa conditions or prepares the air so it can safely travel into the lungs.

Air movement is directed toward the lungs.

An Overview of the Turbinate Bones:

Coronal View: image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers

Midsagittal View: image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers

Coronal view of turbinates with answers hidden
Coronal view of turbinates with answers shown
Midsagittal view of turbinates with answers hidden
Midsagittal view of turbinates with answers shown
Test yourself while observing the Turbinate Bones
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