Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the anatomical variation of the osseous and cartilaginous components of the nasal septum. Study design: Fifty-seven cadaver specimens were digitally scanned and analyzed utilizing Bersoft Image software. Anatomical data were statistically analyzed utilizing SPSS 13.0. Evaluation of the area of the osseous/cartilaginous nasal septum as well as an estimation of the available cartilage for grafting was performed. Results: Septal specimens revealed males had greater variation in cartilaginous area compared to female specimens. The intranasal/extranasal cartilage contributes about 45%/55% of the total cartilage, respectively. The data indicate that the mean area of cartilage available for grafting is around 420 mm2. Conclusions: Significant variability in the cartilaginous elements of the nose is the rule rather than the exception. Key differences exist in the anatomic location of the graft material between males and females. This has important surgical implications given the critical attention required during graft harvesting in order to maintain support of the nose.
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