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Effects of Augmented Air Pressure on the Nasal Erectile Tissue and Blood Flow During Breathing Therapies

[+] Author Affiliations
David E. White, Ahmed M. Al-Jumaily, Jun Lu

Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

James Bartley

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Paper No. IMECE2011-63132, pp. 173-174; 2 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering; Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5488-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


During breathing therapies, air delivered under augmented pressure normally requires external humidification in order to avoid upper airways dryness and discomfort. Heat and water transfer between the air and nasal mucosa is dynamically regulated through changes in the nasal erectile tissue volume. This investigation uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the effects of augmented pressure on nasal erectile tissue size and blood inflow. Eight healthy participants undertook head MRI scans during breathing of ambient and pressurized air. Results demonstrate that the congested airway volume increases in response to augmented air pressure at a level consistent with previous observations. The patent airway; however, demonstrates no significant change. Using arterial spin labeling (ASL) techniques, this research has also qualitatively determined that blood inflow to the patent airway inferior turbinate varies in response to pressure. This new finding is attributed to changes in nasal erectile tissue blood inflow occurring during breathing augmented pressure air.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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