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Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2017 Feb 10;2(4):136-146. doi: 10.1002/lio2.59. eCollection 2017 Aug.

Ethmoidectomy combined with superior meatus enlargement increases olfactory airflow.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology The University of Tokyo Tokyo Japan.
2
Department of Otolaryngology Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical University Saitama Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The relationship between a particular surgical technique in endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) and airflow changes in the post-operative olfactory region has not been assessed. The present study aimed to compare olfactory airflow after ESS between conventional ethmoidectomy and ethmoidectomy with superior meatus enlargement, using virtual ESS and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective computational study.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Nasal computed tomography images of four adult subjects were used to generate models of the nasal airway. The original preoperative model was digitally edited as virtual ESS by performing uncinectomy, ethmoidectomy, antrostomy, and frontal sinusotomy. The following two post-operative models were prepared: conventional ethmoidectomy with normal superior meatus (ESS model) and ethmoidectomy with superior meatus enlargement (ESS-SM model). The calculated three-dimensional nasal geometries were confirmed using virtual endoscopy to ensure that they corresponded to the post-operative anatomy observed in the clinical setting. Steady-state, laminar, inspiratory airflow was simulated, and the velocity, streamline, and mass flow rate in the olfactory region were compared among the preoperative and two postoperative models.

RESULTS:

The mean velocity in the olfactory region, number of streamlines bound to the olfactory region, and mass flow rate were higher in the ESS-SM model than in the other models.

CONCLUSION:

We successfully used an innovative approach involving virtual ESS, virtual endoscopy, and CFD to assess postoperative outcomes after ESS. It is hypothesized that the increased airflow to the olfactory fossa achieved with ESS-SM may lead to improved olfactory function; however, further studies are required.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

NA.

KEYWORDS:

computational fluid dynamics; olfaction; olfactory airflow; virtual endoscopic sinus surgery; virtual endoscopy

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