Lateral wall of nasal cavity; the three nasal conchæ have been removed. (Third caption from the top.)
The hiatus semilunaris (or semilunar hiatus) is a crescent-shaped groove in the lateral wall of the nasal cavity just inferior to the ethmoidal bulla. It is the location of the openings for the frontal sinus, maxillary sinus, and anterior ethmoidal sinus. It is bounded inferiorly and anteriorly by the sharp concave margin of the uncinate process of the ethmoid bone, superiorly by the ethmoidal bulla, and posteriorly by the ethmoidal process of the inferior nasal concha.
The anterior ethmoidal cells of the ethmoidal sinus open into the front part of the infundibulum as well. In slightly over 50% of subjects, this is directly continuous with the frontonasal duct from the frontal air sinus. When the anterior end of the uncinate process fuses with the front part of the bulla, however, this continuity is interrupted and the frontonasal duct then drains directly into the anterior end of the middle meatus.
The ostium for the maxillary sinus opens posteriorly in this groove and is the largest ostium within the semilunar hiatus.
- Anatomy figure: 33:04-05 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
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