Estimation of partitioning of airflow in septal surgery: A prospective study with reference to the NOSE scale | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Estimation of partitioning of airflow in septal surgery: A prospective study with reference to the NOSE scale

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February 20, 2017
by Indranil Sen, MS; Mainak Dutta, MS; Dibakar Haldar, MD; Ramanuj Sinha, DLO, MS, DNB


Improper patient selection for septal surgery often has been found to result in therapeutic failure, and there needs to be an objective assessment of nasal obstruction before the surgery and for postoperative follow-up that can be applied in the routine otolaryngology practice. The purpose of this study is to assess the usefulness of a cost-effective device for objective measurement of the nasal airway partitioning in selecting patients for septal surgery and for postoperative outcome evaluation. A hospital-based, prospective, observational study was carried out in a tertiary-care teaching institution involving 74 patients waiting for septal surgery. Each patient was exposed to subjective assessment of nasal obstruction by the Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) scale and objective measurement by Nasal Partitioning Ratio (NPR) using a new device, Nasal Airway Partition Meter (NAPM), once before and twice after surgery. Overall, average NOSE score and NPR values were 66.42 ± 9.42 and 0.57 ± 0.18, respectively, at preoperative assessment (correlation coefficient 0.441). Sixty of the 74 patients had high values for both NPR and NOSE scores (Group 1), but in the remaining 14, NPR values were found to be lower despite high NOSE scores (Group 2). Postsurgery, the NOSE score and NPR values were significantly reduced in Group 1. In contrast, participants in Group 2 showed no alteration in the values of both the parameters after the same operative maneuver. However, 2 patients in Group 1 had NOSE score and NPR values unaltered, while 1 patient in Group 2 had a reduced NOSE score after surgery. Therefore, the validity of the new equipment was calculated to be 96.7% sensitive and 92.9% specific to identify patients who needed to undergo septal surgery for their nasal obstruction. It can be deduced from the present study that NAPM can be a cost-effective device for clinicians to objectively measure nasal airway obstruction and screen patients for septal surgery.

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