Clinical assessment of a nasal decongestion test by visual analog scale in allergic rhinitis.Am J Rhinol 2008 Sep-Oct; 22(5):502-5AJ
Nasal airflow, as measured by rhinomanometry, is frequently impaired in allergic rhinitis (AR). The decongestion test evaluates whether the application of an intranasal vasoconstrictor drug increases nasal airflow. That allergy is characterized by inflammation and that the response to the decongestion test correlates with the grade of inflammatory reaction has previously been shown. The aim of this study was to verify the suitability of the use of the visual analog scales (VASs) as a surrogate for rhinomanometry in the decongestion test assessment in patients with persistent allergic rhinitis.
One hundred three patients (mean age, 23 years [2.24 SD]) were studied. Nasal symptoms, VAS, rhinomanometry, and nasal decongestion test were assessed in all patients.
A significant association was observed between VAS and nasal airflow after the decongestion test (Spearman R = -33.3%; p < 0.001). Moreover, a significant inverse association between changes in decongestion measures was detected, with a Spearman R = -64.7% (p < 0.001). The associated sensitivity was of 92.5%, and the specificity for this test was 60.0%. The corresponding area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.81.
The use of VAS for assessing the decongestion test appears clinically relevant in that it allows, with a fair degree of reliability, such a test to be performed in the absence of rhinomanometry.