Acoustic rhinometry: should we be using it?

Jacquelynne P Corey
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 2006, 14 (1): 29-34

PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to examine the role of acoustic rhinometry in clinical practice. Although acoustic rhinometry was first described for clinical use in 1989, it is not in common use today. Should we be using it? Yes. I think we should be using it more often. This review provides an update of the new standard for interpretation and expanded clinical uses.

RECENT FINDINGS: The most significant advances in the past year in this area have been the publication of standards for its clinical use. In addition, the repertoire of clinical problems that can be analyzed objectively with acoustic rhinometry has expanded to include turbinoplasty, sleep disorders, more types of cosmetic/reconstructive procedures, sinus surgery, vasomotor rhinitis, maxillofacial expansion procedures, and aspirin and methacholine challenge. (Its ability for pediatric disorders, such as adenoidectomy, has been reaffirmed.) Some case examples are included to demonstrate the utility of acoustic rhinometry for 'mixed' pathology.

SUMMARY: Acoustic rhinometry is a rapid, objective, painless, noninvasive technique for assessing nasal airway obstruction. Recently, standards have been developed that aid its expansion for clinical use. Expanded clinical applications include sleep disorders, cosmetic/reconstructive and maxillofacial disorders, sinus and turbinate procedures, and pediatrics. Acoustic rhinometry should be utilized to improve our ability to practice evidence-based medicine in rhinology.

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