Nasal obstruction and sleep-disordered breathing: a study using acoustic rhinometry.Am J Rhinol. 2005 Jan-Feb; 19(1):33-9.AJ
The relationship between nasal airway function and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) remains unclear. Although correction of nasal obstruction can significantly improve nighttime breathing in some patients, nasal obstruction may not play a role in all cases of SDB. An effective method of stratifying these patients is needed. Acoustic rhinometry (AR) is a reliable, noninvasive method of measuring the dimensions of the nasal airway.
In 44 patients, we performed acoustic rhinometric measurements of nasal airway cross-sectional area, followed by hospital-based polysomnography and nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) level titration. We compared anatomic nasal obstruction to perceived nasal obstruction, as well as respiratory distress index and nCPAP titration level, using the Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression analysis within body mass index groups.
Perceived nasal obstruction correlated significantly with objective anatomic obstruction as measured by AR (r = 0.45, p < 0.01). For certain subgroup analyses in patients with a body mass index below 25, AR measurements correlated significantly with both nCPAP titration pressure (r = 0.85, p < 0.01) and respiratory distress index (r = 0.67, p = 0,03).
Nasal airway function may be a significant component of SDB in some patients, perhaps playing a larger role in patients who are not overweight. The best responders to nasal surgery for SDB may be nonoverweight patients with nasal obstruction. AR along with nasal examination may be helpful in the evaluation and treatment of the SDB patient.