Nasal mucosal temperature during respiration

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2002 Jun;27(3):135-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2273.2002.00544.x.


One of the most important functions of the nose is heating the inspiratory air. The aim of the present study was to measure nasal mucosal temperature at defined intranasal sites during respiration, without interruption of nasal breathing. A total of 15 healthy volunteers was included in the study. A miniaturized thermocouple was used for continuous detection of the septal mucosal temperature in the nasal vestibule, the nasal valve area, the anterior turbinate area and the nasopharynx during respiration. The highest temperature values were measured at the end of expiration, the lowest values at the end of inspiration with a statistically significant difference (P < 0.005). Mean mucosal temperature ranged from 30.2 +/- 1.7 degrees C to 34.4 +/- 1.1 degrees C. Statistically there were significant differences between the detection sites during inspiration and expiration (P < 0.05). In our study, the temperature values of the nasal mucosa depend on the intranasal detection site and the respiratory cycle. We therefore conclude that whenever data of nasal mucosal temperature are published, it is absolutely essential to describe the precise site of detection and to give information about the time of detection in the respiratory cycle.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Body Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Respiration*