Airflow through the supraglottis during inspiration

Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. 2022 Sep 12;1-16. doi: 10.1080/10255842.2022.2121605. Online ahead of print.


Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction is a paradoxical laryngeal closure during inspiration at high-intensity exercise, with supraglottic closure being most common. This study develops a model based on the computational fluid dynamics to investigate airflow velocity and pressure and the air-induced loads on the supraglottis at various inspiratory flow rates. It is found that at high flow rates, positive wall pressure is formed in the hypopharynx localise towards its lower region, while posterior supraglottic wall pressures shift from positive to negative. These findings suggest that high inspiratory flow rates may increase supraglottic pressure differentials, ultimately contributing in the collapse.

Keywords: Supraglottis; air-induced loads; inducible laryngeal obstruction; inspiratory airflow; upper respiratory tract.