Computed Tomography-Anatomy Of The Normal Feline Nasolacrimal Drainage System


Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2006;47:53-60.

Computed tomography (CT) of the nasolacrimal drainage system with and without contrast medium (barium sulfate) was used to create an anatomic basis for clinical evaluation in domestic cats. To evaluate and compare the anatomical findings, three casts were carried out and were followed by CT examinations. These CT series were also used for a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of the nasolacrimal drainage system within surrounding structures. In noncontrast CT images, osseous structures limiting the nasolacrimal drainage system are easily recognizable. In most cats, this allows the identification of the nasolacrimal drainage system even without contrast enhancement. A distal part of the lacrimal sac adjoins directly to the respiratory mucosa of the nasal cavity without an osseous protection. Thus, this may represent a predilection site for infiltration of adjacent pathologic processes from the nasal cavity onto the lacrimal sac. The nasolacrimal duct begins on level with the maxillary third premolar tooth. The apex of the root of the canine tooth is situated very close to the nasolacrimal duct. This close topographic relation may lead to problems with the nasolacrimal drainage system. In domestic cats the nasolacrimal drainage system consists of a descending and a horizontal part, which form an angle of approximately 90 degrees for unhindered drainage of the lacrimal fluid.