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ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2013;75(5):301-8. doi: 10.1159/000354581. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Impact of airflow communication between nasal cavities on nasal ventilation.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ministry of Education, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



To investigate the impact of airflow communication between bilateral nostril sides on nasal ventilation. In addition, we try to validate the efficacy of the Draf III procedure from the aerodynamics perspective.


One health model and two disease models were constructed. These included 2 patients with nasal septum perforation and 1 patient who received the Draf III procedure. With the computational fluid dynamics method, indices such as airflow velocity and wall shear stress in the nasal cavity were detected and compared among the 3 subjects.


The main pathway for airflow in the nasal cavity is the common meatus. Little airflow exchange occurred in the patient who underwent the Draf III procedure, and the wall shear stress around the communication site was as low as in the adjacent areas. However, when airflow communication occurred in the lower part of the nasal cavity, the airflow velocity and wall shear stress were obviously altered, and the ventilation function of the nasal cavity was impaired.


Airflow communication in the upper part of the nasal cavity has little impact on nasal ventilation. Nonetheless, airflow communication occurring in the lower part of the nasal cavity disturbs the overall airflow distribution and a repair procedure is necessary.

© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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