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Deviated nasal septum hinders intranasal sprays: a computer simulation study. Rhinology 2012 Sep;50(3):311-8



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84865336992   25 Citations


BACKGROUND: This study investigates how deviated nasal septum affects the quantity and distribution of spray particles, and examines the effects of inspiratory airflow and head position on particle transport.

METHODS: Deposition of spray particles was analysed using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model created from a computed tomography scan of a human nose with leftward septal deviation and a right inferior turbinate hypertrophy. Five simulations were conducted using FluentTM software, with particle sizes ranging from 20-110 μm, a spray speed of 3 m/s, plume angle of 68(deg), and with steady state inspiratory airflow either present (15.7 L/min) or absent at varying head positions.

RESULTS: With inspiratory airflow present, posterior deposition on the obstructed side was approximately four times less than the contralateral side, regardless of head position, and was statistically significant. When airflow was absent, predicted deposition beyond the nasal valve on the left and right sides were between 16% and 69% lower and positively influenced by a dependent head position.

CONCLUSION: Simulations predicted that septal deviation significantly diminished drug delivery on the obstructed side. Furthermore, increased particle penetration was associated with presence of nasal airflow. Head position is an important factor in particle deposition patterns when inspiratory airflow is absent.

Author List

Frank DO, Kimbell JS, Cannon D, Pawar SS, Rhee JS


Sachin S. Pawar MD Chief, Associate Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
John S. Rhee MD Chair, Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Administration, Intranasal
Computer Simulation
Imaging, Three-Dimensional
Models, Biological
Nasal Obstruction
Nasal Septum
Nasal Sprays