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Pulsating airflow and drug delivery to paranasal sinuses

Möller, Winfrieda; Lübbers, Christianb; Münzing, Wolfgangc; Canis, Martind

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: February 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 48–53
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283420f39
Nose and paranasal sinuses: Edited by Anshul Sama

Purpose of review There is a high incidence of nasal disorders, including chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), affecting about 14% of the total population. Topical treatment regimens show only limited efficacy of drug delivery to the posterior nose and paranasal sinuses. Nevertheless, the primary treatment option of CRS is a combination of topical or systemic steroids, antibiotics and functional endonasal sinus surgery (FESS).

Recent findings Sinus ventilation and paranasal aerosol deposition can be achieved by using pulsating airflow. Studies using pulsating airflow in nasal casts and in healthy volunteers have shown that up to 8% of the nasally deposited drug can deposit within the sinuses, which could not be achieved using nasal pump sprays. In addition, compared with nasal pump sprays, retention kinetics of the radiolabel deposit in the nose was prolonged.

Summary With this efficiency, topical aerosol therapies of sinus disorders can be achieved and, due to the prolonged retention, reduced application modes are possible. This offers new treatment options of sinus–nasal disorders prior or after FESS.

aInstitute for Lung Biology and Disease, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Germany

bDepartment of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Amperkliniken - Hospital Dachau, Dachau, Germany

cDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, Germany

dDepartment of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Grosshadern Medical Centre, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Correspondence to Winfried Möller, Institute for Lung Biology and Disease (iLBD), Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstrasse 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Munich, Germany Tel: +49 89 3187 1881; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.