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Anatomical and histological study of the dorsal and ventral nasal conchal bullae in normal horses
  1. T. J. Froydenlund, MA VetMB, CertAVP, MRCVS,
  2. P. M. Dixon, MVB, PhD, DipEVDC (Equine), MRCVS,
  3. S. H. Smith, BVMS, PhD, DipACVP, MRCVS and
  4. R. J. M. Reardon, BVetMed(Hons) MVM PhD CertES(Orth) Dip ECVS MRCVS
  1. Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, Easter Bush Veterinary Campus, The University of Edinburgh, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: tim.froydenlund{at}


The morphology of the dorsal conchal bulla (DCB) and ventral conchal bulla (VCB) are poorly described. The recent recognition that these bullae can become infected, causing chronic unilateral nasal discharge, has stimulated interest in these structures. Fourteen cadaveric horse heads were transected sagittally midline and dissected to expose the nasal conchal bullae. The dimensions of each bulla, the number and orientation of drainage apertures, and cellulae septae were recorded. Randomly selected samples were examined histologically. The mean DCB and VCB lengths were 78  and 57 mm, respectively; equivalent to 13.9 per cent and 10.2 per cent of skull length, respectively. The mean DCB and VCB heights were 29  and 28 mm, respectively; equivalent to 5.2 per cent and 5 per cent of skull length, respectively. The DCB was larger than the VCB, containing more septae, cellulae and drainage apertures. No communications were identified between the bullae and the immediately adjacent paranasal sinuses. Histology revealed that the bullae consist of ciliated, pseudostratified, columnar epithelium over glandular submucosa often overlying turbinate bone and, variably, hyaline cartilage. This more detailed description of equine DCB and VCB anatomy will hopefully facilitate successful treatment of their disorders.

  • Horses
  • Nasal disease
  • Anatomy
  • Respiratory disease
  • Surgery
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