Medical Hypothesis and Perspectives

  • Roger Jankowski


Hypothesizing that the inferior turbinate is the homolog of the ectopterygoid bone does not fully account for the specific structure and functions of the mucosa covering this bone, which appears related to the role of the nose in filtering and conditioning inspired air and in the control of body temperature and water content. The microvasculature of the mucosa covering the inferior turbinate differs from that of other part of the nose; it consists of (1) a dense subepithelial network of capillaries, allowing passage of water into the lumen for evaporation and air-conditioning; (2) a system of capacitance vessels, which, when they distend, block the nasal lumen and, when they empty, open the nasal passages; changes in their volume will affect the filtering and air-conditioning functions of the nose; and (3) arteriovenous anastomosis which allows rapid passage of blood through the mucosa and is likely important in air-conditioning and in the countercurrent mechanisms that tend to keep the brain cool in a hot, dry climate (Widdicombe 1993).


Allergic Rhinitis Paranasal Sinus Nasal Polyp Nasal Polyposis Inferior Turbinate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Jankowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine Service ORL - CHUUniversité de LorraineNancyFrance

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