Computed tomographic anatomy of the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses and tympanic cavity of the koala
S Hemsley,a* H Palmer,a RB Canfield,a MEB Stewart,b MB Krockenbergera and R Malikc
aFaculty Veterinary Science B01, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
bRoyal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
cCentre for Veterinary Education B22, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Objective To use cross-sectional imaging (helical computed tomography (CT)) combined with conventional anatomical dissection to define the normal anatomy of the nasal cavity and bony cavitations of the koala skull.
Methods Helical CT scans of the heads of nine adult animals were obtained using a multislice scanner acquiring thin slices reconstructed in the transverse, sagittal and dorsal planes. Subsequent anatomical dissection permitted confirmation of correct identification and further delineation of bony and air-filled structures visible in axial and multiplanar reformatted CT images.
Results The nasal cavity was relatively simple, with little scrolling of nasal conchae, but bony cavitations were complex and extensive. A rostral maxillary recess and ventral conchal, caudal maxillary, frontal and sphenoidal paranasal sinuses were identified and characterised. Extensive temporal bone cavitation was shown to be related to a large epitympanic recess.
Conclusions The detailed anatomical data provided are applicable to future functional and comparative anatomical studies, as well as providing a preliminary atlas for clinical investigation of conditions such as cryptococcal rhinosinusitis, a condition more common in the koala than in many other species.