Nasal cartilages

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical TeamPublished on December 19, 2017

The nasal cartilages provide structure and support to the nose. They are primarily composed of hyaline cartilage, which is densely packed with collagen, a structural protein. There are several different kinds.

Accessory nasal cartilages are small nasal cartilages that link the greater alar (nostril) and lateral nasal cartilages.

Greater alar cartilage is a flexible cartilage that forms part of the structure of the nostrils.

Lateral nasal cartilage is a triangular structure, located below the nasal bone.

Cartilage of the septum — also known as the quadrangular cartilage because it is roughly quadrilateral in shape — separates the nostrils. It also connects the nasal bones and the lateral cartilages.

Vomeronasal cartilage, also known as Jacobson's cartilage, connects the nasal septum (the wall of cartilage that separates the two airways of the nose) and the vomer bone (a thin, flat bone that separates the nostrils). It was named in 1809 by Dutch anatomist, Ludwig Levin Jacobson. It is close to, but not actually connected with, the vomeronasal organ of Jacobson, which is the body's scent organ that detects pheromones, chemicals that may affect the behaviors of others who smell them.

Lesser alar cartilages are three or four small nasal cartilages connected to the upper jawbone.

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