Estimating intranasal volume – the easy way

Intranasal-CavityOne way to measure a human subject’s intranasal volume is to perform a structural whole-brain T1-weighted MRI scan, and then use computerised volumetric image analysis software on the resulting data. But is there an easier way?

Yes, there is, according to a group of researchers from the Taste and Smell Clinic, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, United States, the Dept. of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States, the Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, just look at the size of their nostrils (the subject’s, not the researchers).

“It is well documented that size of various body parts tends to correlate within the same individual.”*[1] they say, and, based on this premise, they decided to investigate the possible validity of their simple test. See: ‘Size of nostril opening as a measure of intranasal volume’ in: Physiology & Behavior, Volumes 110–111, 17 February 2013, Pages 3–5

“Our results suggest that the intranasal volume is positively correlated with the area of the nostril opening. Intranasal volume did not differ significantly between men and women although men had significant larger nostril openings. However, the correlation between intranasal volume and nostril opening was not influenced by the subject’s gender. In conclusion, it is possible to obtain a good estimate of the intranasal volume using measurements of the nares.*[2]

A full copy of the paper may be found here [click: Full Text]

* Notes:

[1] “For example, a tall individual with long legs also tends to have long arms.”

[2] “Nares” is pronounced to rhyme with ‘Fairies’ rather than ‘Fairs’

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