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Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Dec;5(4):181-7. doi: 10.3342/ceo.2012.5.4.181. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Impacts of fluid dynamics simulation in study of nasal airflow physiology and pathophysiology in realistic human three-dimensional nose models.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


During the past decades, numerous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies, constructed from CT or MRI images, have simulated human nasal models. As compared to rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry, which provide quantitative information only of nasal airflow, resistance, and cross sectional areas, CFD enables additional measurements of airflow passing through the nasal cavity that help visualize the physiologic impact of alterations in intranasal structures. Therefore, it becomes possible to quantitatively measure, and visually appreciate, the airflow pattern (laminar or turbulent), velocity, pressure, wall shear stress, particle deposition, and temperature changes at different flow rates, in different parts of the nasal cavity. The effects of both existing anatomical factors, as well as post-operative changes, can be assessed. With recent improvements in CFD technology and computing power, there is a promising future for CFD to become a useful tool in planning, predicting, and evaluating outcomes of nasal surgery. This review discusses the possibilities and potential impacts, as well as technical limitations, of using CFD simulation to better understand nasal airflow physiology.


Airflow physiology and pathophysiology; Computational fluid dynamics; Nasal airflow dynamics; Nose models

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