Department of Anatomy, Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine, Izmir, Balcova, Turkey.
The nasolacrimal canal is placed at the anterior part of the inferior lateral wall of the orbit and opens to the inferior nasal meatus. The canal can be obstructed by acquired diseases such as dacryocystitis and posttraumatic epiphora due to nasoorbitoethmoidal fractures. Furthermore in nasolacrimal canal obstructions, dacryocystorhinostomy with balloon dilatation is used frequently. In evaluation of the nasolacrimal canal's acquired diseases, obstruction etiologies and during the reopening of the canal with balloon dilatation, knowing the lacrimal groove's morphology and morphometry play an important role. The aim of the present study was to evaluate not only the morphological features and types but also the morphometric measurements of lacrimal groove. A total of 60 (30 right, 30 left) adult human dry bone maxillae (both male and female samples) from the collection of the Department of Anatomy of Dokuz Eylül University Medical School were used. Digital compass with 0.01 mm sensitivity was used for measurements. Average length of lacrimal groove was 9.62 +/- 2.10 mm. Average width of lacrimal groove was 5.88 +/- 1.53 mm at upper one-third, 8.04 +/- 2.05 mm at middle one-third, and 5.94 +/- 1.28 mm at lower one-third. In 87.7% of cases a crista was observed at the end of the lacrimal groove. Among them, 34.0% were directed to inferior, 54.0% were directed to posterior and 12.0% were horizontal. The present results on the width, length, shape and direction of the lacrimal groove could mediate the etiology of nasolacrimal canal obstructions and could be helpful in surgical approaches and clinical treatment.