Objective measurement and patient-reported evaluation of the nasal airway: Is correlation dependent on symptoms or on nasal airflow?

Rui Xavier, Sofia Azeredo-Lopes, Dirk Jan Menger, Henrique Cyrne de Carvalho, Jorge Spratley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Evidence has shown that the sensation of nasal breathing is related to variations in nasal mucosa temperature produced by airflow. An appropriate nasal airflow is necessary for changing mucosal temperature. Therefore, the correlation between objective measurements of nasal airflow and patient-reported evaluation of nasal breathing should be dependent on the level of nasal airflow. Objectives: To find if the correlation between patient-reported assessment of nasal breathing and objective measurement of nasal airflow is dependent on the severity of symptoms of nasal obstruction or on the level of nasal airflow. Methods: The airway of 79 patients was evaluated using NOSE score and peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF). Three subgroups were created based on NOSE and three subgroups were created based on PNIF level to find if correlation was dependent on nasal symptoms or airflow. Results: The mean value of PNIF for the 79 patients was 92.6 L/min (SD 28.1 L/min). The mean NOSE score was 48.4 (SD 24.4). The correlation between PNIF and NOSE was statistically significant (P =.03), but with a weak association between the two variables (r = −.248). Evaluation of correlation based on symptoms demonstrated a weak or very weak association in each subgroup (r = −.250, r = −.007, r = −.104). Evaluation of correlation based on nasal airflow demonstrated a very weak association for the subgroups with middle-level and high PNIF values (r = −.190, r = −.014), but a moderate association for the subgroup with low PNIF values (r = −.404). Conclusions: This study demonstrated a weak correlation between NOSE scores and PNIF values in patients non-selected according to symptoms of nasal obstruction or to airflow. It demonstrated that patients with symptoms of nasal obstruction have different levels of nasal airflow and that low nasal airflow prevents the sensation of good nasal breathing. Therefore, patients with symptoms of nasal obstruction may require improving nasal airflow to improve nasal breathing sensation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Otolaryngology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • correlation based on airflow
  • correlation based on symptoms
  • nasal airway evaluation
  • Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation
  • objective and patient-reported evaluation correlation
  • peak nasal inspiratory flow

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