Airflow in the human nasal passage and sinuses of chronic rhinosinusitis subjects

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Endoscopic surgery is performed on patients with chronic inflammatory disease of the paranasal sinuses to improve sinus ventilation. Little is known about how sinus surgery affects sinonasal airflow. In this study nasal passage geometry was reconstructed from computed tomographic imaging from healthy normal, pre-operative, and post-operative subjects. Transient air flow through the nasal passage during calm breathing was simulated. Subject-specific differences in ventilation of the nasal passage were observed. Velocity magnitude at ostium was different between left and right airway. In FESS, airflow in post-surgical subjects, airflow at the maxillary sinus ostium was upto ten times higher during inspiration. In a Lothrop procedure, airflow at the frontal sinus ostium can be upto four times higher during inspiration. In both post-operative subjects, airflow at ostium was not quasi-steady. The subject-specific effect (of surgery) on sinonasal interaction evaluated through airflow simulations may have important consequences for pre- and post-surgical assessment and surgical planning, and design for improvement of the delivery efficiency of nasal therapeutics.




Kumar, H., Jain, R., Douglas, R. G., & Tawhai, M. H. (2016). Airflow in the human nasal passage and sinuses of chronic rhinosinusitis subjects. PLoS ONE, 11(6).

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