Teaching Residents Frontal Sinus Anatomy Using a Novel 3-Dimensional Conceptualization Planning Software-Based Module

Philip G. Chen, Ahmed Bassiouni, Christine B. Taylor, Alkis J. Psaltis, Abdulaziz Alrasheed, Bozena Wrobel, Marc A. Tewfik, K. Christopher McMains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The Frontal Sinus Masterclass (FSMC) is an effective method for teaching frontal sinus anatomy. A third party developed new software using the same 3-dimensional building block concept. The authors sought to determine whether the use of the software for the educational module yielded similar results to the original FSMC, which used wooden blocks. Methods: The study was performed at a sinus course for residents. A precourse test assessed the ability to decipher frontal sinus anatomy prior to the course. Computed tomography (CT) scans of the sinuses were evaluated in triplanar view, and participants attempted to reconstruct the anatomy using the new software. Subsequently, the course instructor explained the anatomy and showed a short corresponding surgical video of the frontal sinusotomy. Cases progressed in anatomical difficulty and inflammatory load. A postcourse test determined knowledge after the course. Results: In sum, 50 residents completed the pre- and postcourse tests. Overall scores increased from 60.5% to 65.2% (P =.004). Subanalysis also demonstrated improved ability to locate the frontal drainage pathway from 32.5% to 46% (P =.011) and label the frontal recess cell structures from 64% to 67.6% (P =.045). Conclusion: There is minimal literature on proven methods for teaching frontal sinus anatomy. Objectively, participants of the modified FSMC simulation training using new software improved their ability to recognize cells of the frontal recess on CT scans. They especially exhibited better localization of the frontal sinus drainage pathway. Subjectively, participants reported benefit from the course and felt they would be better surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • computed tomography
  • frontal sinusotomy
  • radiology
  • residency training in rhinology
  • simulation training
  • sinus anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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