Artifacts associated with acoustic rhinometric assessment of infants and young children: A model study

J. E. Buenting, R. M. Dalston, T. L. Smith, A. F. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The present study was undertaken to determine in model studies whether currently available acoustic rhinometry instrumentation might be used to analyze the nasal cavity configuration of infants and children. A simple nasal cavity model was constructed using eight Lucite inserts that were placed between standard nosepieces provided by the manufacturer and a 35-cm- long polyvinyl chloride pipe closed at its distal end. To simulate the nasal valve, the inserts were 12 mm in length and had apertures ranging in diameter from 2 to 9 mm. A series of experiments was conducted to evaluate the accuracy with which the acoustic rhinometer measured the size of each insert aperture and the configuration of the model system distal to that aperture. Transmission losses caused errors in the area measurement of the insert aperture and the tube distal to the insert. When the insert aperture was <6 mm in diameter (0.28 cm2), the aperture area was overestimated by >10%, whereas the area of the distal tube was underestimated by >10%. As a result of response lags, the acoustic rhinometer also failed to provide an accurate indication of insert length. Finally, oscillation artifacts caused estimates of the distal pipe area to fluctuate. These three systematic errors are described, and their potential impact on acoustic rhinometry in children is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2558-2563
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994


  • acoustic pulse-response analysis
  • airway area assessment
  • nasal patency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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