Sinus irrigations before and after surgery-Visualization through computational fluid dynamics simulations

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The Laryngoscope


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Topical sinus irrigations play a critical role in the management of sinonasal disease, and the improvement in irrigant penetration into the sinuses postoperatively greatly contributes to the success of endoscopic sinus surgery. Prior investigations on postoperative sinus irrigations have been mostly limited to cadaver studies, which are labor intensive and do not capture the full dynamics of the flows. A pilot study was conducted to investigate the impact of surgery on sinus irrigation through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective computational study.

METHODS: Pre- and postoperative computed tomography (CT) scans were obtained on a patient who underwent standard endoscopic surgeries for all sinuses, including a Draf III frontal sinusotomy. CT-based pre- and postoperative CFD models then simulated irrigations of 120 mL saline per nostril at 12 mL/s (typical of Sinugator) and 60 mL/s (SinusRinse Bottle), in two head positions: face parallel and at a 45° angle to the ground.

RESULTS: Overall, surgery most significantly improved frontal sinus irrigation, but surprisingly resulted in less maxillary and ethmoid sinuses penetration. This may due to the partial removal of the septum during the Draf III, causing most fluid to exit prematurely across the resected septum. Higher flow rate slightly improved ethmoid sinus irrigation, but resulted in less preoperative contralateral maxillary sinus penetration.

CONCLUSIONS: CFD modeling of sinonasal irrigations is a novel technique for evaluating irrigant penetration of individual sinus cavities. It may prove useful in determining the optimal degree of surgery or the ideal irrigation strategy to allow for maximal and targeted sinus irrigant penetration.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: NA Laryngoscope, 126:E90-E96, 2016.

Medical Subject Headings

Computer Simulation; Endoscopy; Ethmoid Sinus; Frontal Sinus; Humans; Hydrodynamics; Male; Maxillary Sinus; Middle Aged; Nasal Cavity; Paranasal Sinus Diseases; Pilot Projects; Postoperative Care; Preoperative Care; Therapeutic Irrigation; Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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