Facial plast Surg 2013; 29(02): 085-092
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1341590
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Concept of Rhinorespiratory Homeostasis—A New Approach to Nasal Breathing

Thomas Hildebrandt
Private practice of otorhinolaryngology in association with the Limmatklinik, Zurich, Switzerland
Werner Johannes Heppt
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Staedtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
Ulrich Kertzscher
Biofluid Mechanics Lab, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Charité, Berlin, Germany
Leonid Goubergrits
Biofluid Mechanics Lab, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Charité, Berlin, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 April 2013 (online)


The suggested concept of rhinorespiratory homeostasis is a new theoretical model for the discussion of physiologic and physical principles of nasal breathing. This model is based on a comprehensive view of nasal functions that takes comparative animal physiology into account. Consequently, it has a universal cross-species character and emphasizes the central role of nasal secretion. In contrast to the established view, the focus is transferred from the inspired air to the nasal wall. This concept considers the parietal effect of airflow represented by wall shear stress with special regard to the epithelial lining fluid. It delivers one possible mechanism of an inherent triggering of the nasal cycle. Furthermore, the issue of biological fluid–structure interaction is introduced. This article presents a rethinking of nasal breathing that was inspired by clinical experience and results of flow field investigations through computational fluid dynamics.