Rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry

What is it?

Rhinomanometry/acoustic rhinometry is an in-depth instrumental examination in functional rhinological pathology. Rhinomanometry estimates the nasal resistance by measuring the airflow and the trans-nasal pressure gradient; acoustic rhinometry studies the geometry and the volumes of the nasal passages, through the analysis of the impedance offered by the different nasal structures to an acoustic signal, of which the reflected waves are received and analyzed. The examination is generally performed before and a few minute after the application of a nasal vasoconstrictor, which reduces any edema of the mucous membranes. This examination enables us to detect the presence of a nasal respiratory obstruction and to evaluate the structures that mostly cause it (turbinates, septum, etc.). The difference between the findings before and after the use of the vasoconstrictor shows whether the obstruction is reversible (for example, due to mucosal hypertrophy of the nasal turbinates) or is linked to anatomical alterations (such as deviation of the nasal septum).

When is this exam indicated?

Rhinomanometry/acoustic rhinometry is generally a supportive examination to diagnose and better define the nasal respiratory obstruction in order to evaluate the potential benefit of the intervention.

How is it performed?

The examination is performed in an outpatient facilities; no preparation is required. For rhinomanometry, one nostril is plugged at a time and the patient is asked to breathe through the nose with a mask covering the nose and mouth. For acoustic rhinometry, an adapter is placed alternately over the two nostrils. The examination lasts a few minutes and is generally repeated 5 minutes after the application of a nasal vasoconstrictor.


For a correct execution of the examination, the patient must be cooperative. In case of allergy or contraindication to the use of a vasoconstrictor, it should be avoided.

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