Funktion und Physiologie der Kieferhöhle

Function and physiology of the maxillary sinus

A Leserbriefe to this article was published on 21 December 2020

A Leserbriefe to this article was published on 21 December 2020



Schon seit vielen Jahrzenten stellt die Frage nach der „wahren“ Funktion der Kieferhöhle bzw. den Nasennebenhöhlen (NNH) einen Streitpunkt in der Literatur dar und hat zu vielen kontroversen Diskussionen sowie Spekulationen geführt.


Das Review fasst kurz verschiedene Theorien über die mögliche Physiologie und mögliche Funktionen der Kieferhöhle/NNH zusammen, die über die Jahrhunderte bis heute diskutiert wurden.

Material und Methoden

Eine Literaturrecherche bei PubMed wurde mit einer Kombination der Suchbegriffe „Physiologie“, „Funktion“, „Kieferhöhle“ und „Nasennebenhöhle“ durchgeführt.


Die aktuellen und möglichst wissenschaftlich belegten Theorien werden beschrieben. Die „Sinusologie“ ist die Wissenschaft der NNH. Die Kieferhöhlen können einfach nur dazu dienen, die respiratorische Funktion der Nase zu verbessern. Eine Durchströmung mit inspiratorischer Luft findet nicht statt. Die Kieferhöhlen sind an der Produktion von Stickstoffmonoxid (NO) und damit der Unterstützung der Immunabwehr der Nasenhöhle entscheidend beteiligt. Die Mukosa der Kieferhöhle synthetisiert kontinuierlich NO und dient damit als Reservoir von NO. Weitere wichtige Funktionen sind der Schutz der Orbita und des Gehirn bei Schädelfrakturen sowie eine Gewichtsreduktion des Schädels.


Die verschiedenen Theorien über die Funktion der Nasennebenhöhlen werfen auch heute noch viele Fragen auf, und die wahre Funktion ist nicht vollständig geklärt. Mögliche Funktionen der Kieferhöhlen bestehen bei der lokalen Immunabwehr durch die Produktion von NO. Die NNH dienen als „Knautschzone“ im Rahmen von Schädel-Hirn-Traumata.



The question of the “true” function of the maxillary sinus and the paranasal sinuses (PS) has been a controversial issue in the literature for decades, leading to many discussions and speculations.


This review briefly summarizes various theories on the possible physiology and functions of the maxillary sinus/PS that have been discussed over the centuries.

Materials and methods

A literature search was conducted in PubMed using a combination of the search terms “physiology,” “function,” “maxillary sinus,” and “paranasal sinuses.”


Current and scientifically evidenced theories are described. “Sinusology” is the science of the PS. The maxillary sinuses might simply serve to improve the respiratory function of the nose. A flow of inspiratory air does not occur. The maxillary sinuses are decisively involved in the production of nitrogen monoxide (NO) and thus in supporting the immune defense of the nasal cavity. The mucosa of the maxillary sinus continuously synthesizes NO and serves as a reservoir of NO. Other important functions are protection of the orbit and the brain in case of skull fractures, as well as weight reduction of the skull.


The various theories about the function of the PS still raise many questions and their true function is yet not fully understood. Possible functions of the maxillary sinuses are local immune defense through the production of NO. The PS serve as a crumple zone for vital cerebral structures in the context of craniocerebral traumas.

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Correspondence to H. L. Sieron.

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H.L. Sieron, F. Sommer, T.K. Hoffmann, A.-S. Grossi, M.O. Scheithauer, F. Stupp und J. Lindemann geben an, dass kein Interessenkonflikt besteht.

Für diesen Beitrag wurden von den Autoren keine Studien an Menschen oder Tieren durchgeführt. Für die aufgeführten Studien gelten die jeweils dort angegebenen ethischen Richtlinien.

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Sieron, H.L., Sommer, F., Hoffmann, T.K. et al. Funktion und Physiologie der Kieferhöhle. HNO 68, 566–572 (2020).

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  • Nasennebenhöhlen
  • Trauma
  • Respiratorisches System
  • Stimme
  • Stickstoffmonoxid


  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Trauma
  • Respiratory system
  • Voice
  • Nitrogen monoxide