Prospective evaluation of aerosol delivery by a powered nasal nebulizer in the cadaver model

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. Sep-Oct 2011;1(5):366-71. doi: 10.1002/alr.20057. Epub 2011 May 9.


Background: The objective of this study was to compare the distribution of aerosol delivered via a powered nasal nebulizer device in 5 fresh frozen-cadaver heads (10 total sides).

Methods: Nasoneb® (Medinvent, St. Paul, MN) was used to deliver a total volume of 10 mL (9 mL saline and 1 mL of 10% fluorescein). Aerosol distribution was assessed in 3 trials: (1) unoperated nose; (2) post-functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS); and (3) post-FESS with endoscopic modified Lothrop procedure (EML). Two independent observers rated the distribution of the fluorescein-dyed saline in the anterior nasal cavity (ANC), olfactory cleft (OC), middle meatus (MM), sphenoethmoid recess (SER), nasopharynx (NP), along with maxillary sinus (MS), ethmoid cavity (EC), sphenoid sinus (SS), frontal sinus (FS), and frontal neo-ostium (F-NEO) in the operated specimens.

Results: The nebulizer consistently delivered aerosolized saline to the ANC, MM/EC, and SER/SS across the 3 trials. A statistically significant increase in delivery was noted to the MM (p = 0.044) post-FESS. In addition, a statistically significant increase in delivery to the F-NEO was noted post-FESS with EML (p = 0.001). Multiplicity adjustment done for the FESS group showed statistically superior delivery to the EC vs OC (p = 0.031) and FS (p = 0.02) and to the SS vs FS (p = 0.031). Multiplicity adjustment after FESS with EML improved delivery to the FS, resulting in no statistical difference in aerosol delivery between F-NEO and EC or SS.

Conclusion: The nebulizer consistently delivered aerosolized saline to multiple nasal subsites, with improvement in delivery seen to the middle meatal region after FESS and F-NEO after FESS with EML. This may have important implications for the delivery of topical medications to the paranasal sinuses in the postoperative setting.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal / instrumentation*
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Aerosols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cadaver
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fluorescein / administration & dosage
  • Fluorescein / pharmacokinetics*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / administration & dosage
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers / standards*
  • Nose / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacokinetics*


  • Aerosols
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Fluorescein