This rather uncommon but definite clinical entity, known as collapse of the alae or, by the older writers, aspiration of the alae nasi (Laurens1) gives rise to partial or complete obstruction to nasal respiration. Although the symptoms may be extremely annoying to the patient, they can be entirely relieved by appropriate surgical treatment, the technic of which is described in the accompanying report.
This condition is characterized by extreme flaccidity of the lateral walls of the nose. Normally the musculocartilaginous structure of the alae, especially the lateral crura of the alar cartilages, is sufficiently rigid to keep the nostrils open, even under the stress of forced respiration such as accompanies exertion. When the walls of the nose lose their normal firmness, they have a tendency to move inward and outward with each phase of respiration. Barsky2 refers to them as "flutter valves." During quiet respiration this may not give rise
GURNEY CE. SURGICAL CORRECTION OF COLLAPSED ALAR CARTILAGES: REPORT OF A CASE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;33(2):199–203. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archotol.1941.00660030202004
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