J Rhinol.  2001 May;8(1, 2):23-28.

Correlation between Nasal Obstruction Symptoms and Objective Parameters of Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow Metry and Acoustic Rhinometry

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. entkjm@hfh.cuk.ac.kr


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Measurement of the peak nasal inspiratory flow rate (PNIFR) is a useful technique for obtaining a quick measure of nasal obstruction and changes in PNIFR, reflecting changes in symptoms. The aim of the present study was to correlate changes in nasal obstruction symptoms with changes in several parameters of acoustic rhinometry (AR) and peak nasal inspiratory flow metry (PNIFM) before and after decongestion and to examine whether changes in PNIFR correlate with changes in nasal cross-sectional areas and volume.
The subjects of the current study were 30 patients with nasal obstruction symptoms and 20 normal subjects. Subjective nasal patency was assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). We measured PNIFR and minimal cross-sectional area (MCA), cross-sectional area at distances of 3.3 (CA3.3), 4.0 (CA4.0), and 6.4 (CA6.4) cm from the nostril and volume from the nostril 6.4 cm (V6.4) towards the choanae, in each nasal cavity before and after decongestion.
The VAS had no significant correlation with PNIFR, each cross-sectional area and volume in bilateral nasal cavities before decongestion. There was a significant correlation between the changes in VAS and PNIFR and MCA before and after decongestion. There was a significant correlation between changes in PNIFR and MCA and CA3.3 in one side and both sides of nasal cavity before and after decongestion.
These results suggest that PNIFM and AR may have no sensitive diagnostic values in estimating the severity of nasal obstruction symptoms in the nondecongested state of the bilateral nasal cavities, but PNIFM and AR can be recommended especially in provocation studies because PNIFR and MCA reflect changes in subjective symptoms by mucosal changes.


Nasal patency; Nasal inspiratory peak flow; Acoustic rhinometry
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