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Wexler D, Segal R, Kimbell J. Aerodynamic Effects of Inferior Turbinate Reduction: Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(12):1102–1107. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.12.1102
To investigate the aerodynamic consequences of conservative unilateral inferior turbinate reduction using computational fluid dynamics methods to accomplish detailed nasal airflow simulations.
A high-resolution, finite-element mesh of the nasal airway was constructed from magnetic resonance imaging data of a healthy man. Steady-state, inspiratory airflow simulations were conducted at 15 L/min using the techniques of computational fluid dynamics
Circumferential removal of 2 mm of soft tissue bulk along the length of the left inferior turbinate was modeled.
Main Outcome Measures
Nasal airflow distribution and pressure profiles were computed before and after simulated left inferior turbinate reduction.
Simulated inferior turbinate reduction resulted in a broad reduction of pressure along the nasal airway, including the regions distant from the inferior turbinate vicinity. In contrast, relative airflow changes were regional: airflow was minimally affected in the valve region, increased in the lower portion of the middle and posterior nose, and decreased dorsally.
Use of computational fluid dynamics methods should help elucidate the aerodynamic significance of specific surgical interventions and refine surgical approaches to the nasal airway.
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