Background: Despite a growing number of studies using acoustic rhinometry (AR) in children, no reference material exists that incorporates the entire age and height interval of pre-school children up to puberty for a range of rhinometric variables. Objective: The aim of this study is to provide a reference range for nasal volumes and minimum cross-sectional areas (MCA) in healthy non-decongested children aged 4 to 13 years. Methods: 256 primary school children (mean 7.95 years, range 3.8 - 13.1 ys, 123m/133f) were measured by acoustic rhinometry. Variables were MCA (first, second and absolute minimum) and nasal volumes from 0 to 4 (Vol0-4), 0 to 5 (Vol0-5), 1 to 4 (Vol1-4) and 2 to 5 (Vol2-5) cm into the nasal cavity. Height and weight were measured and atopic status determined by skin prick test. Age and current and past respiratory health were recorded from a questionnaire. Results: In multiple linear regression models height was the main predictor for all AR variables although weight was also a significant predictor of MCA's. There was no association between any AR variables with sex, atopy or hayfever but children with current wheeze (within last 12 months) and asthma had decreased nasal patency. Conclusion: This paper presents the presently most extensive reference material for AR inm non-decongested pre-pubescent healthy children. The presented reference material will facilitate the interpretation and evaluation of future and present epidemiological studies based on AR in children.
American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, 2008, Vol 70, Issue 22, p. 285-291