The Effect of Segmentation Threshold on Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis of Nasal Airflow

Bryce Noblitt, John Higgins, Katherine Kopytek, Christoph Brehm, Nikita Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The objective analysis of nasal airflow stands to benefit greatly from the adoption of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methodologies. In this emerging field, no standards currently exist in regard to the ideal modeling parameters of the nasal airway. Such standards will be necessary for this tool to become clinically relevant. Methods: Human nasal airways were modeled from a healthy control, segmented, and analyzed with an in-house immersed boundary method. The segmentation Hounsfield unit (HU) threshold was varied to measure its effect in relation to airflow velocity magnitude and pressure change. Findings: Surface area and volume have a linear relationship to HU threshold, whereas CFD variables had a more complex relationship. Interpretation: The HU threshold should be included in nasal airflow CFD analysis. Future work is required to determine the optimal segmentation threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ITK-Snap is supported by the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and BioEngineering through Grant R01 EB014346, and by Grants R01 EB017255, R03 EB008200, and PO 467-MZ-202446-1 from the US National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
This research was performed under appointment to the Rickover Fellowship Program in Nuclear Engineering sponsored by Naval Reactors Division of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Mutaz B. Habal, MD. All rights reserved.


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • computer simulation
  • nasal airflow
  • nasal airflow obstruction
  • nasal obstruction
  • nasal resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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