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.

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    • "A concha bullosa is generally defined as the pneumatization of the middle turbinate [2] [3]. However, superior and inferior concha bullosa are also encountered, these being pneumatizations of the superior and inferior turbinates , respectively [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. This is the reason why concha bullosa is better defined as " the presence of air cells in turbinates " [8]. "
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