Can we always trust rhinomanometry?Rhinology. 2011 Mar; 49(1):46-52.R
Rhinomanometry before and after decongestion distinguishes a nasal airway organic stenosis from congestion of nasal mucosa in patients with nasal stuffiness. Together with rhinoscopy and patient history, it is used to decide if nasal surgery would benefit the patient. Rhinomanometry measurements should thus be reliable and reproducible.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We performed repetitive active anterior rhinomanometry in 9 persons during 5 months to test reproducibility of nasal airway resistance (NAR) over time. We also did test-retest measurements in several participants. Xylometazoline hydrochloride was applied in each nasal cavity to minimize effects of mucosal variation and the nasal cavity was examined with rhinoscopy. The participants evaluated subjective nasal stuffiness on a visual analogue scale (VAS).
The long term mean coefficient of variation (CV) of NAR over time was 27% for the whole group while the short term CV was 7 - 17% for test-retest within an hour. Mean NAR reduction after decongestion was 33%, but 13% of NAR values were not reduced after decongestion. Participants had difficulties estimating stuffiness on a VAS in 15% of the assessments, but there was no correlation between the VAS estimates and NAR.
We found a high NAR variation over a period of five months. This implies low long-term rhinomanometry reproducibility and we suggest future research on standardised decongestion to increase the reproducibility.