Pneumatized superior turbinate as a cause of headache

Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace. Dragana, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
Head & Face Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.85). 02/2007; 3(1):3. DOI: 10.1186/1746-160X-3-3
Source: PubMed


A pneumatized superior turbinate is a rare cause of headache. Nasal endoscopy alone, does not provide us with adequate information for this inaccessible area of the superior nasal cavity. A coronal computed tomography (CT) must be obtained to confirm the diagnosis.
We present a 40-year-old female with migraine-type headache and nasal obstruction. Nasal endoscopy revealed a mild septal deviation, a right middle concha bullosa and a paradoxically curved middle turbinate on the left side. Coronal CT-scan showed also the presence of a superior concha bullosa on the left, which was in close contact with the nasal septum. The patient underwent septoplasty and bilateral endoscopic sinus surgery, including partial removal of both the pneumatized middle turbinates in conjunction with gentle lateralization and resection of the lower half of the left superior turbinate. Prompt relief from headache and nasal symptoms was obtained.
Pneumatized superior concha causing migrainous headache is a rare finding. Endoscopic surgery may provide permanent relief of symptoms.

Download full-text


Available from: Dimitrios Balatsouras,
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of mucosal contact points (MCP), concha bullosa (CB), and variable paranasal sinus (PNS) volumes among patients sent for rhinogenic headache workup as compared with controls. Retrospective study with case and control groups. Fifty-three adults with clear PNS computed tomography (CT) scans were included: 28 patients who have originally undergone PNS CT scan as part of sinus (rhinogenic) headache workup, and 25 controls in whom PNS CT scans were obtained for other purposes. All subjects were asked to report their symptoms using a headache scoring system. CT scans of all subjects were analyzed for presence of MCP, CB, as well as for volumes of maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid sinuses. MCP was found in 40% of controls, and in 50%, 50%, and 40% of mild, moderate, and severe headache groups, respectively. CB was found in 24% of controls, and in 33.3%, 58.3%, and 20%, of mild, moderate, and severe headache groups, respectively. Total volume of the measured PNS ranged from 23.9 to 81.4 cm(3) (mean ± standard deviation [SD], 48.3 ± 15.8) in the control group and from 5.31 to 87.4 cm(3) (mean ± SD, 43.6 ± 16) in the patient group. No statistically significant difference was found between groups regarding all studied variables. Radiological identification of MCP, CB, or hyperpneumatized sinuses does not seem to be a predictor of headache causality. Further studies are required to identify clinical scenarios in which these variations may contribute to pain symptoms. 3b. Laryngoscope, 2015. © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
    The Laryngoscope 02/2015; 125(9). DOI:10.1002/lary.25194 · 2.14 Impact Factor