Proposal for the existence of a nasogastric reflex in humans, as a potential cause of upper gastrointestinal symptoms

Mohammadali Mohajel Shoja, R. Shane Tubbs, Khalil Ansarin, Ramin M. Farahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nose is a gateway of air from the environment to the body and with its rich innervation from the olfactory and trigeminal nerves plays a critical role as a sensor in both human beings and primitive animals. Irritation of the nasal or paranasal mucosa may initiate a severe bradycardia, apnea, and vasoconstriction and increase the pulmonary airflow resistance. However, the interaction between nasal mucosa and the upper gastrointestinal tract is more often than not neglected in the clinical literature. We propose that a nasogastric reflex might exist with its afferent and efferent loops being the trigeminal and vagus nerves, respectively. The central connection of these loops is located at the pontomedullary level. The sensory inputs from the nasal mucosa to the general somatic afferent component of the brainstem including the pontine and medullary trigeminal nucleuses may induce the neighboring nucleus of the solitary tract and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. This initiates, via the efferent fibers of the vagus nerve, the manifestations of the vagal stimulation. The presence of a nasogastric reflex may warrant considerations as diseases of nose and paranasal sinuses may be the cause upper gastrointestinal symptmatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-348
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery

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