Evaluation of nasal impedance using the forced oscillation technique in infants

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1991;11(1):1-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.1950110102.


By applying oscillations to the respiratory system through a rigid face mask, the infant-adapted Lándsér forced oscillation technique measures impedance of the total respiratory system including the nose, at frequencies from 4 to 52 Hz. The present study was aimed at evaluating nasal impedance in infants from consecutive forced oscillation measurements through both nostrils and each nostril separately, using a simple electrical model. In 30 asthmatic infants with varying degrees of nasal obstruction, aged 1-16 months, calculated nasal resistance (Rn) at 24 Hz ranged from 1 to 16 cm H2O.L-1.s. The ratio of Rn to total respiratory system resistance varied between 1 and 48% (mean: 16%). In seven non-asthmatic infants, aged 0-12 months, Rn was between 1 and 11 cm H2O.L-1.s. Nasal patency (evaluated clinically) was correlated with the calculated Rn (P less than 0.05). Rn showed almost no frequency dependence between 24 and 48 Hz as demonstrated by a mean slope of -0.09 +/- 0.08 cm H2O.s2/L for the asthmatic and of -0.08 +/- 0.07 for the non-asthmatic infants. In seven of the asthmatic infants the differences between two Rn determinations at a 45 min interval ranged from -1.7 to 3.8 cm H2O.L-1.s-1 at 24 Hz and from -3.6 to 1.0 at 48 Hz. Changes in Rn did not correlate with changes in total respiratory system resistance (P greater than 0.05). In conclusion, nasal impedance can be approximated from three consecutive measurements through both nostrils and through each nostril separately.

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance / physiology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Biological
  • Nasal Cavity / physiology*
  • Nasal Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Noise
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena