Using Ultrasound to Evaluate Nasal Septal Cartilage

Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2021 Jan-Feb;23(1):21-24. doi: 10.1089/fpsam.2020.0053. Epub 2020 Jun 10.


Importance: Having a noninvasive tool that quantifies the amount of remaining septal cartilage in the setting of prior septoplasty would be useful for surgical planning and patient counseling. Objective: The objective of this pilot study is to determine if endocavitary ultrasound can be used to evaluate the presence and thickness of septal cartilage in vivo. Design, Setting, and Participants: A small prospective observational study was designed to assess the feasibility of using intranasal ultrasound to verify the presence and measure the thickness of septal cartilage. Imaging was undertaken by the principle investigator using a protocol developed by the research team. Six healthy volunteers were enrolled including three subjects who have had prior septoplasty. Images and measurements of the nasal septum were obtained. Main Outcomes: Confirming the presence of the nasal septum was the main outcome with a secondary outcome of measurement of septum thickness. Results: The endonasal ultrasound probe was able to identify the septum and resected areas. The mean thickness of the septum in subjects without surgery was 1.0 mm and those with prior septoplasty was 0.8 mm. Student's t-test show a statistically significant difference in septum thickness between these two groups with a p-value of 0.0093. Conclusions and Relevance: This study demonstrates a novel method of determining the presence of septal cartilage after septoplasty surgery. This information may be useful for operative planning in revision rhinoplasty.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasal Cartilages / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nasal Cartilages / surgery
  • Nasal Septum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nasal Septum / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Ultrasonography / methods*