Assessment of nasal airway patency: a comparison of four methods

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1986 Apr;11(2):99-107. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2273.1986.tb00114.x.


Two established methods (active posterior and passive anterior rhinomanometry) and 2 new methods (peak nasal inspiratory flow rate and apparent nasal volume) were used in 12 volunteers to assess the patency of the nasal airways under each of 4 conditions (baseline, post-exercise, nasal histamine and nasal cocaine). All methods showed the congestant effect of histamine but the peak nasal inspiratory flow and apparent nasal volume techniques were more sensitive to the 'decongesting' manoeuvres, (exercise and cocaine). Useful objective quantitative data on the patency of the nasal airways and its changes in response to stimuli can be obtained by simple, cheap and readily available techniques. Subjective sensation is a poor guide to the state of patency of the nasal airways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Histamine / analogs & derivatives
  • Histamine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / drug effects


  • Histamine
  • Cocaine
  • histamine phosphate