How is sinus drainage maintained?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The successful maintenance of sinus drainage represents a complicated interaction between ciliary action, mucus viscosity, size of sinus ostia, and orientation of body structures. Ciliary beat at the rate of 8-15 Hz is continuously moved by the cilia at a speed of 6 mm/min. The ciliary action can be affected due to local factors, such as infection and local hypoxia that is associated with complete occlusion of sinus ostia. The sinus mucosa has less secretory and vasomotor function than the nasal cavity does. Cilia are concentrated near and beat toward the natural sinus ostia. Blockage of the ostium results in stasis of mucous flow, which can lead to development of disease.


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