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GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;9:Doc07. doi: 10.3205/cto000071. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

Physiology and pathophysiology of respiratory mucosa of the nose and the paranasal sinuses.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Greifswald, Germany.


In this review, anatomy and physiology of the respiratory mucosa of nose and paranasal sinuses are summarized under the aspect of its clinical significance. Basics of endonasal cleaning including mucociliary clearance and nasal reflexes, as well as defence mechanisms are explained. Physiological wound healing, aspects of endonasal topical medical therapy and typical diagnostic procedures to evaluate the respiratory functions are presented. Finally, the pathophysiologies of different subtypes of non-allergic rhinitis are outlined together with treatment recommendations.


mucociliary clearance; nasal cycle; non-allergic rhinitis; pathophysiology; physiology

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