Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a disease related to the nose and the paranasal sinus as defined by the European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps (EPOS) criteria. The criteria include subjective symptoms, such as nasal obstruction, and objective findings by endoscopy. Acoustic rhinometry (AR) is an objective method to determine nasal cavity geometry. The technique is based on a sound pulse reflection analysis in the nasal cavity and determines cross-sectional areas as a function of distance as well as volume. AR measurements in persons recruited from the general population, with and without CRS based on the clinical EPOS criteria, were investigated. As part of a trans-European study, 362 persons, comprising 91 persons with CRS and 271 persons without CRS, were examined by an otolaryngologist including rhinoscopy. Minimum cross-sectional area, distance to minimum cross-sectional area, and volume in the nasal cavity were measured by acoustic rhinometry and all participants underwent Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow (PNIF) and allergy test. A difference in AR was found before and after decongestion, but no difference was seen between CRS patients and controls. Positive correlation between AR and PNIF was found and AR was capable of identifying mucosal oedema and septum deviation visualised by rhinoscopy. In conclusion, AR, as a single instrument, was not capable of discriminating persons with CRS from persons without CRS in the general population. However, AR correlates well with PNIF and was capable of identifying septum deviation and mucosal oedema.
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology, 2014, Issue 405