Acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry as objective tools for the assessment of nasal patency in nasal septal surgery

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BACKGROUND. Septal deviations are usually diagnosed by a patient’s subjective complaint of nasal stuffiness and a physical examination by the otorhinolaringologist. The decision for surgery is not always based on objective measurements. Acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry are objective tools for assessment of nasal patency but is still a controversial subject. In our populations, there are no general accepted methods for screening patients for septal surgery.

OBJECTIVE. To analyse the effectiveness of acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry in predicting the outcomes of septoplasty and rhinoseptoplasty and their usefulness in preoperative screening of septal deviations.

MATERIAL AND METHODS. 69 patients were included in this prospective study. Acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry were performed before and one year after surgery for the investigation of nasal obstruction. Several parameters were analysed before and after decongestion of the nasal mucosa. VAS (visual analogue scale) was also included for evaluation of the subjective symptom score pre- and postoperatively. After surgery, a short questionnaire was applied to investigate patients’ postoperative satisfaction.

RESULTS. The mean subjective scores of nasal patency improved significantly after surgery with 77%. Several parameters of acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry were analysed with binary logistic regression, to evaluate the predictive values on the postoperative satisfaction. The preoperative decongested overall MCA (minimal cross-sectional area) on the deviation side, the decongested bilateral MCA and the decongested Flow ratio had significantly the highest impact on the postoperative satisfaction (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION. Acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry as objective tools can serve as objective evidence for the efficacy of septoplasty and rhinoseptoplasty. The parameters of rhinomanometry and anterior rhinometry are useful in the preoperative screening for septal deviations and in predicting postoperative satisfaction between different degrees of nasal septal deviations.

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