Changes in Nasal Airway Dimensions in Infancy
Authors: Djupesland, P. G.; Lyholm, B.
Source: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Volume 118, Number 6, 31 December 1998 , pp. 852-858(7)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Thirty-nine infants, previously examined as neonates, were re-examined at 1 year of age with continuous wide-band noise acoustic rhinometry using a specific probe optimized for infants, to determine the dimensional growth and maturation of nasal airway geometry in otherwise healthy infants. During the first year of life, the acoustically determined dimensions of the nasal airways increased significantly. The total minimal cross-sectional area increased by 67% (0.21cm2 → 20.35cm2), the volume of the anterior 4 cm of the nasal airway by 36% (1.80cm3 → 32.44cm3) and the distance to the minimum cross-sectional area by 19% (0.78cm → 0.93cm). The rhinometric values of male infants were significantly larger than those of females. However, after adjusting for the significantly larger anthropometric values of males, the difference disappeared, indicating that it was mainly due to body size and not directly to gender. A highly significant correlation (r=0.44, p<0.006) was observed between the minimum cross-sectional area and head circumference, which anatomically are the most closely related rhinometric and anthropometric values. Furthermore, when differentiating between infants with or without signs of nasal congestion during the fortnight preceding the rhinometric evaluation, a reduction in the total volume of the anterior 4 cm (17%, p<0.02) and minimum cross-sectional area (12%, ns) was observed after adjustment. We conclude that the optimized acoustic rhinometric probe is a useful investigative modality, permitting studies of upper airway physiology of healthy and diseased infants.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: December 31, 1998