Acoustic impedance rhinometry (AIR): A technique for monitoring dynamic changes in nasal congestion

Robert Patuzzi, Alison Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We describe a simple and inexpensive method for monitoring nasal air flow resistance using measurement of the small-signal acoustic input impedance of the nasal passage, similar to the audiological measurement of ear drum compliance with acoustic tympanometry. The method requires generation of a fixed sinusoidal volume-velocity stimulus using ear-bud speakers, and an electret microphone to monitor the resultant pressure fluctuation in the nasal passage. Both are coupled to the nose via high impedance silastic tubing and a small plastic nose insert. The acoustic impedance is monitored in real-time using a laptop soundcard and custom-written software developed in LabView 7.0 (National Instruments). The compact, lightweight equipment and fast time resolution lends the technique to research into the small and rapid reflexive changes in nasal resistance caused by environmental and local neurological influences. The acoustic impedance rhinometry technique has the potential to be developed for use in a clinical setting, where the need exists for a simple and inexpensive objective nasal resistance measurement technique. © 2014 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-515
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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