The Nasal Cavity

Blood supply


Hover over the hot points in the diagram to get the names of the arteries

  • There is an extensive anastomosis in the anteroinferior part of the nasal septum. This is called Little's area. It is a frequent site of nasal bleeding (epistaxis).
  • More serious bleeding from the nose may arise while vessels are large, just after they have entered the nasal cavity.

The Veins:

  • They drain from a venous plexus, especially well developed over the inferior concha.They accompany the arteries for most part.
  • Plexus sometimes communicates with the superior sagittal sinus through emissary veins passing through foramen ceacum.

Vessels of the nasal cavity

The arteries are derived from the opthalmic (stemming from the internal carotid) and maxillary (stemming from the external carotid).

Opthalmic artery:


  • Anterior ethmoidal artery.It supplies the lateral wall and the septum.

Maxillary artery:

  • Sphenopalatine artery. It supplies the lateral wall and septum.

The veins accompany the arteries

An emissary vein to the superior sagittal sinus inside the cranium sometimes connects the venous plexus. The emissary vein traverses foramen ceacum when the latter is patent.


This is via the following nodes:

  • Deep cervical

  • Submandibular

  • Retropharyngeal

Nasal conchae

Three conchae

  • Superior (1)
  • Middle (2)
  • Inferior (3)

Superior and middle are parts of ethmoid. The inferior one is a separate bone.

Between the conchae are meatuses with openings of the paranasal sinuses.

  • Superior meatus (s.m)
  • Middle meatus (m.m)
  • Inferior meatus (i.m)

Openings in the lateral wall



Superior meatus: Middle meatus: Inferior meatus:
  • Sphenoidal sinus
  • Posterior ethmoidal cells
  • Frontal
  • Anterior ethmoidal
  • maxillary
  • middle ethmoidal
Nasolacrimal duct



Lining of the nasal cavity
  • The walls and septum are lined with mucosa except the vestibule, which is lined with skin.

  • The mucosa is closely adherent to the periosteum or perichondrium. The fused layers form either the mucoperiostium or mucoperichondrium, which may easily be stripped off bone or cartilage .

  • The mucosa contains numerous glands and venous plexuses.

  • The veins tend to become engorged when irritated and then tend to block the nasal passages.

Nerves of the nasal cavity

Special sensation: The olfactory region is supplied by olfactory nerves. They run a short course, passing through the cribriform plate to reach the olfactory bulb.


The Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses