Dysautonomia rhinitis: associated otolaryngologic manifestations and characterization based on autonomic function tests

Acta Otolaryngol. 2006 Dec;126(11):1206-12. doi: 10.1080/00016480600704072.


Conclusions: Dysautonomia is a multisystem disorder. Beside the nasal symptoms, some otolaryngological disorders may be explained on the basis of autonomic dysfunction. Testing of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) complements the clinical findings and provides objective measurements to substantiate the presence of ANS dysfunction. The term dysautonomia rhinitis may be used to specify this autonomic-related rhinitis.

Objectives: Nonallergic, noninfectious perennial rhinitis is a heterogeneous disorder comprising several pathophysiological entities. This study was designed to objectively investigate the relation of idiopathic perennial rhinitis to ANS dysfunction.

Patients and methods: This was a prospective controlled clinical study; 78 patients, carefully diagnosed as having idiopathic perennial rhinitis, were enrolled. Workshop protocol included diagnostic measures for exclusion of other causes of rhinitis and autonomic function assessment at a clinical cardiology laboratory. Results were compared with those of 20 age- and sex-matched normal control subjects.

Results: In addition to their nasal symptoms, all patients reported more than one regional and multisystem complaint. Each patient had at least one autonomic function test that displayed a hypervagal response and the overall response score was as follows: 46 (59%) had hypervagal response, 32 (41%) had mixed response and none had a normal or hyperadrenergic response.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Fibers / physiology
  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis*
  • Rhinitis / physiopathology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Tilt-Table Test
  • Vagus Nerve / physiopathology