J Rhinol.  2000 May;7(1):40-46.

Development of a Device Equipped with a Thermocouple for Measuring Nasal Airflow

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. skchung@smc.samsung.co.kr
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hanil General Hospital,Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To measure nasal cavity function as an airway, rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry are currently being used in clinical settings. However, these methods are not helpful for continuously measuring the aerodynamic status of both nasal cavities simultaneously. Therefore, a new instrument to evaluate the nasal flow is required.
To measure the airflow of bilateral nasal cavity simultaneously, two thermocouples are held in the headset, with the tips of thermocouples positioned below nostrils. The thermocouples are connected to the analog-digital converter and the digitized data is transferred to a notebook computer, in which a graphical programming language software is installed. Eighteen adults were recruited for this study who had no structural abnormality in their nasal cavities. For every subject, measurements from acoustic rhinometry, the thermocouple device, and rhinomanometry were taken in succession. The data from the thermocouple device was compared with those taken from the acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry.
A negative correlation was noted between the minimum cross-sectional area by acoustic rhinometry and the inspiratory slope by thermocouple. No correlation was noted between the results for rhinomanometry and the thermocouple device.
The thermocouple device has some advantages over other devices for its non-invasive, continuous, and real-time measurements and its ability to measure bilateral nasal cavity simultaneously.


Thermocouple; Nasal flow; Temperature; Acoustic rhinometry; Rhinomanometry
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