ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: To investigate a possible relationship between
altered nasal flow and chronic otitis media (COM) using computational
fluid dynamics (CFD). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort sample of CT scans
from patients with COM and controls without COM to compare the results
of various nasal airflow parameters determined by CFD between a group of
patients with COM (N=60) and a control group of subjects without any
evidence of ear disease (N=81). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The CT were
subjected to various procedures to carry out CFD studies, determining
the resistance to nasal flow, the proportion of flow through the right
and left nasal cavity, and two nondimentional estimators. The results of
CFD studies between patients with COM and controls were compared.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Whereas only 12.3% of the controls had CFD
alteration (10 out of 81), 43.3% of the patients suffering COM
displayed alterations of our nondimentional parameters (26 out of 60).
According to our results, the incidence of alterations in nasal airflow
by studying with CFD is significantly higher in patients with COM than
in controls IMPLICATIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first paper
linking nasal cavity and COM using a CFD approach. Our results support
the hypothesis that nasal flow alterations could be implicated in the
etiopathogenesis of the COM.