Radiographic identification of the equine ventral conchal bulla

C M Finnegan, N B Townsend, T P Barnett, Safia Barakzai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Involvement of the ventral conchal sinus (VCS) is an important diagnostic and prognostic feature in cases of the equine sinus disease. The authors aimed to ascertain if the caudo-dorsal extension of the VCS, the ventral conchal bulla (VCB) is identifiable on plain radiographs of cadaver skulls without sinus disease. Bilateral frontonasal sinus flaps were made in 10 equine cadaver skulls. Plain lateral, lateral oblique and dorso-ventral radiographs were then obtained followed by the same views taken with stainless steel wire outlining the caudal border of the VCB. Plain radiographs were randomised and blindly evaluated by two observers who marked where they believed the VCB to be positioned. This was then correlated with the true position of the VCB using radiographs with wires in place. The ease of identification of the VCB was classified as 'easy' or 'difficult'. The VCB was correctly identified in 70 per cent of lateral radiographs, but only 45 per cent of lateral oblique radiographs and 17 per cent of dorso-ventral radiographs. If a clinician was confident that he or she could identify the VCB, they were usually correct. Conversely if the clinician judged VCB identification as 'difficult', they usually identified it incorrectly. In the authors' clinical experience, the VCB of horses with sinusitis involving this compartment is more radiologically evident than in clinically normal horses. Knowledge of the normal radiographic anatomy of this structure should aid clinicians in identifying horses with sinusitis affecting the VCS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Animals
  • Cadaver
  • Horse Diseases
  • Horses
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases
  • Sinusitis
  • Turbinates


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