Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2002 Apr;45(4):354-358.

Changes of Nasal Airflow Sensitivity in Patients with Chronic Sinusitis

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea. ksrha@cnu.ac.kr


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nasal patency may be considered to have two aspects, the resistance to airflow and the sensation of airflow. Although the sensation of nasal airflow has received little attention from clinicians until now, it is likely to be of great importance in clinical practice. However, there are only a few studies that assess the sensation of nasal airflow in patients complaining of nasal obstruction. The aim of this study is to compare the airflow sensitivity of the nose in chronic sinusitis patients with normal controls and to determine the relationship between the airflow sensitivity and the radiologic staging of sinusitis, the presence of polyps, and the status of turbinate mucosa. MATERIALS AND METHOD: All patients had bilateral chronic sinusitis. We assessed the stages of sinusitis by OMU-CT. We also assessed the presence of polyps and the status of inferior and middle turbinate mucosa by endoscopic examination. We measured threshold velocities at five different sites of each nasal cavity by an apparatus delivering a pulsing jet of air at varying velocities.
The threshold velocity of nasal airflow at all test sites were higher in sinusitis patients than in normal subjects. There were no significant differences in nasal airflow sensitivity between radiologic staging groups, whereas there were significant correlation between the airflow sensitivity in nasal mucosa and the presence of polyps or status of turbinate mucosa.
The results suggest that decreased sensation of nasal airflow may contribute to the sensation of nasal obstruction in patients with chronic sinusitis.


Nasal obstruction; Sensation; Sinusitis
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