Influence of anatomy and head position on intranasal drug deposition

  • Paul MerkusEmail author
  • Fenna A. Ebbens
  • Barbara Muller
  • Wytske J. Fokkens


The objective of this study was to determine the influence of individual anatomical differences on intranasal drug deposition. The data of a comparison of seven different administration techniques in ten healthy volunteers was used in this single-blind crossover pilot study. After intranasal administration of a dyed test formulation, endoscopic video imaging was done on seven non-sequential days. The deposition pattern per individual around the head of the middle turbinate was analyzed for each technique and correlated with the individual anatomy. Decreased deposition of dyed test formulation in the target area around the head of the middle turbinate was observed in the presence of minor septal deviations, narrow nasal valve areas, or inferior turbinate hypertrophy; a lateral head position helps to bypass a minor septal deviation. Although results are preliminary, we conclude that anatomy and head position are important factors in the deposition of topical nasal drugs and may be the key to improving individual local nasal (steroid) treatment.


Nasal drug delivery Nasal polyposis Rhinosinusitis Anatomy Distribution Head position 



We wish to thank Valois (France) for their support with the single-unit dose device.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Merkus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fenna A. Ebbens
    • 2
  • Barbara Muller
    • 2
  • Wytske J. Fokkens
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck SurgeryVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck SurgeryAcademic Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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