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Encyclopedia > Nasal cavity
Nasal cavity
Head and neck.
Conducting passages
Latin cavum nasi
Gray's subject #223 994
MeSH Nasal+Cavity

The nasal cavity (or nasal fossa) is a large air-filled space above and behind the nose in the middle of the face. Image File history File linksMetadata Illu01_head_neck. ... Image File history File links Illu_conducting_passages. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... For the article about nose in humans, see human nose Human nose in profile Elephants have prehensile noses Dogs have very sensitive noses Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration. ...



The nasal cavity conditions the air to be received by the areas of the respiratory tract. Owing to the large surface area provided by the conchae, the air passing through the nasal cavity is warmed or cooled to within 1 degree of body temperature. In addition, the air is humidified. And finally dust and other particulate matter are removed by the fine hairs present in the nostril. The cilia of the respiratory epithelium move the particulate matter towards the pharynx where it is swallowed. In humans the respiratory tract is the part of the anatomy that has to do with the process of respiration or breathing. ... Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when temperature surrounding is very different. ... cross-section of two cilia, showing 9+2 structure A cilium (plural cilia) is a fine projection from a eukaryotic cell that constantly beats in one direction. ... Respiratory epithelium is another name for ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium with goblet cells. ...


The lateral wall of the nasal cavity is mainly made up by the maxilla, however there is a deficiency that is compensated by: the perpendicular plate of the palatine bone, the medial pterygoid plate, the labyrinth of the ethmoid and the inferior concha. The nasal cavity is enclosed by the nasal bone above. The floor of the nasal cavity, which forms the roof of the mouth, is made up by the bones of the hard palate: the horizontal plate of the palatine bone posteriorly and the palatine process of the maxilla anteriorly. To the front of the nasal cavity is the nose, while the back is continuous with the pharynx. The paranasal sinuses are connected to the nasal cavity through small orifices called ostia. The maxillae are the largest bones of the face, except for the mandible, and form, by their union, the whole of the upper jaw. ... The palatine bone is a bone situated at the back part of the nasal cavity between the maxilla and the pterygoid process of the sphenoid. ... The medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid is narrower and longer than the lateral pterygoid plate; it curves lateralward at its lower extremity into a hook-like process, the pterygoid hamulus, around which the tendon of the Tensor veli palatini glides. ... The Labyrinth or Lateral Mass of the ethmoid bone consists of a number of thin-walled cellular cavities, the ethmoidal cells, arranged in three groups, anterior, middle, and posterior, and interposed between two vertical plates of bone; the lateral plate forms part of the orbit, the medial, part of the... The inferior nasal concha (Inferior Turbinated Bone) is one of the turbinates in the nose. ... The Nasal Bones (Ossa Faciei & Ossa Nasalia) are two small oblong bones, varying in size and form in different individuals; they are placed side by side at the middle and upper part of the face, and form, by their junction, the bridge of the nose. ... The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the neck and throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity, and cranial to the esophagus, larynx, and trachea. ... The paranasal sinuses are eight (four pairs) air-filled spaces, or sinuses, within the bones of the skull and face. ... Sinus ostia refers to the opening that connects a sinus to the nasal cavity itself. ...

The nasal cavity is divided in two by a vertical fin called the nasal septum. On the sides of the nasal cavity are three horizontal outgrowths called turbinates or conchae (singular "concha"). These turbinates disrupt the airflow, directing air toward the olfactory epithelium on the surface of the turbinates and the septum. The vomeronasal organ is located at the back of the septum and has a role in pheremone detection. The nasal septum separates the left and right airways in the nose, dividing the two nostrils. ... In anatomy, a turbinate (or nasal concha) is a long, narrow and curled bone shelf (shaped like an elongated sea-shell) which protrudes into the breathing passage of the nose. ... The olfactory epithelium is a specialized epithelial tissue inside the nasal cavity that is involved in smell. ... The vomeronasal organ (VNO) or Jacobsons organ is an auxiliary olfactory sense organ in some tetrapods. ... Fanning honeybee exposes Nasonov gland (white-at tip of abdomen) releasing pheromone to entice swarm into an empty hive A pheromone is any chemical produced by a living organism that transmits a message to other members of the same species. ...

Cilia and mucus along the inside wall of the nasal cavity trap and remove dust and pathogens from the air as it flows through the nasal cavity. The cilia move the mucus down the nasal cavity to the pharynx, where it can be swallowed. cross-section of two cilia, showing 9+2 structure A cilium (plural cilia) is a fine projection from a eukaryotic cell that constantly beats in one direction. ... Mucus is a slippery secretion of the lining of various membranes in the body (mucous membranes). ...

Blood and nerve supply

There is a rich blood supply to the nasal cavity. In some animals, such as dogs, the capillary beds flowing through the nasal cavity help cool the blood flow to the brain. Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In animals the brain, or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for thought. ...

Blood supply comes from branches of both the internal and external carotid artery, including branches of the facial artery and maxillary artery. The named arteries of the nose are: The carotid artery is a major artery of the head and neck that supplies blood to the head and neck. ... The carotid artery is a major artery of the head and neck. ... The facial artery (external maxillary artery in older texts) is a branch of the external carotid artery that supplies structures of the face. ... The maxillary artery is the larger of the two terminal branches of the external carotid artery. ...

The Sphenopalatine Artery (nasopalatine artery) passes through the sphenopalatine foramen into the cavity of the nose, at the back part of the superior meatus. ... The anterior ethmoidal artery, also anterior ethmoid artery, accompanies the nasociliary nerve through the anterior ethmoidal canal, supplies the anterior and middle ethmoidal cells and frontal sinus, and, entering the cranium, gives off a meningeal branch to the dura mater, and nasal branches. ... The ophthalmic artery is a branch of the internal carotid artery which supplies branches to supply the eye and other structures in the orbit. ... The facial artery (external maxillary artery in older texts) is a branch of the external carotid artery that supplies structures of the face. ...


Innervation of the nasal cavity responsible for the sense of smell is via the olfactory nerve, which sends microscopic fibers from the olfactory bulb through the cribiform plate to reach the top of the nasal cavity. The olfactory nerve is the first of twelve cranial nerves. ... The olfactory bulb is a structure of the vertebrate forebrain involved in olfaction, the perception of odors. ... The cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone (horizontal lamina) is received into the ethmoidal notch of the frontal bone and roofs in the nasal cavities. ...

General sensory innervation is by branches of the trigeminal nerve (V1 & V2): The trigeminal nerve is the fifth (V) cranial nerve, and carries sensory information from most of the face, as well as motor supply to the muscles of mastication (the muscles enabling chewing), tensor tympani (in the middle ear), and other muscles in the floor of the mouth, such as the...

The entire nasal cavity is innervated by autonomic fibers. Sympathetic innervation to the blood vessels of the mucosa causes them to constrict, while parasympathetic innervation of the mucosa controls secrection by mucous glands. The Ophthalmic nerve is one of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve, one of the cranial nerves. ... One branch of the posterior superior nasal branches, longer and larger than the others, is named the nasopalatine nerve. ... The Maxillary nerve is one of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve, one of the cranial nerves. ... The word sympathetic means different things in different contexts. ... The blood vessels are part of the circulatory system and function to transport blood throughout the body. ... Anatomy and Physiology of the A.N.S. In contrast to the voluntary nervous system, the involuntary or autonomic nervous system is responsible for homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment by controlling such involuntary functions as digestion, respiration, and metabolism, and by modulating blood pressure. ... Mucous glands, found in several different parts of the body, typically stain lighter than serous glands during standard histological preparation. ...


Diseases of the nasal cavity include viral infections and nasal cavity cancer. Groups I: dsDNA viruses II: ssDNA viruses III: dsRNA viruses IV: (+)ssRNA viruses V: (-)ssRNA viruses VI: ssRNA-RT viruses VII: dsDNA-RT viruses A virus is a microscopic particle (ranging in size from 20 - 300 nm) that can infect the cells of a biological organism. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...

Empty nose syndrome. Right nasal airway passage Empty nose syndrome (ENS) is a medical condition that is caused when too much inner nasal mucus-producing tissue (the turbinates) is cut out of the nose, leaving the nasal cavities too empty and wide, with severely diminished capabilities to perform their functions of conducting and...

Additional images

See also

Nasal irrigation is an ancient personal hygiene practice, originating from the Yoga practice of Jala Neti (literally: water cleansing), which involves regularly flooding the nasal cavity with warm salty water. ...

External links

Look up Nasal cavity in
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  Results from FactBites:
Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer Treatment - National Cancer Institute (1050 words)
Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity.
The nasal cavity lies above the bone that forms the roof of the mouth and curves down at the back to join the throat.
Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancers often have spread by the time they are diagnosed and are hard to cure.
eMedicine - CT Scan, Nasal Cavity : Article by Charles Lee, MD (4692 words)
Understanding the anatomy of the nasal cavity and its anomalies is important because it leads to an understanding of imaging anatomy, which is needed to plan the surgical approach.
The nasal cavity is separated into halves by a midline, which is a partially bony and partially cartilaginous nasal septum that, unlike the lateral walls, is lined by squamous epithelium.
As the name implies, portions of the concha are aerated; this occurs either in the vertical portion that attaches to the cribriform plate or lateral nasal cavity walls or in the concha or curved (shell-like) portions of the concha.
  More results at FactBites »



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