Background: Nasal airway obstruction (NAO) is a common symptom that affects a person's quality of life. It can be estimated by patient perception or by physical measurements. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used to analyze nasal ventilation modes. There is a lack of comparative studies for evaluation of airflow regimes using CFD.
Objective of the review: Our goal was to determine the different utilities of CFD as an objective method for investigation of nasal airflow characteristics.
Search strategy: Selected studies were collected from MEDLINE (Ovid), Google Scholar ,Cochrane Library and EMBASE using a combination of the MeSH terms “septal deviation”, “nasal obstruction”, “Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)”.
Evaluation method: We compared all the results obtained by the authors regarding the CFD variables and the assessment of nasal obstruction (clinical or physical).
Results: To compare nasal obstruction with CFD variables, most authors use heat flow, Wall Shear Stress (WSS), total pressure, velocity and streamlines. We found that heat flux appeared to be the CFD variable most strongly correlated with patient perception. Total pressure, wall shear stress and velocity are also useful and show a good correlation.
Conclusion: More and more research on CFD on the nose has led to a better understanding of nasal obstruction. Further studies need to be done, including temperature and humidity exchange.