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The nasal airway, which includes the nasal cavity and the nasopharynx, begins at the nasal vestibule and extends through the nasopharynx (Fig. 1). The epithelium is a ciliated, pseudostratified, columnar mucosa except for the squamous epithelium lining the vestibule and anterior third of the nasal airway. The mucosa of the nasal airway is contiguous with that of the paranasal sinuses and eustachian tubes. The blood flow to the nasal mucosa is one of the highest for any tissue of the body, with the flow controlled by a combination of resistance and capicitance vessels. The latter permit pooling of blood in the submucosa, resulting in swelling or congestion. The microcirculation is fenestrated to facilitate the transfer of water from the vascular space to the mucosa. The high blood flow and fenestrated vessels facilitate heating and humidification of the airstream.
KeywordsAllergic Rhinitis Nasal Mucosa Nasal Polyp Nasal Congestion Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
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