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Am J Rhinol. 2004 Nov-Dec;18(6):349-55.

Nasal airflow, mucociliary clearance, and sinus functioning during viral colds: effects of allergic rhinitis and susceptibility to recurrent sinusitis.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Oulu, Finland.



The aim was to compare nasal airflow and mucociliary clearance (MCC) and their association with paranasal sinus functioning during acute natural colds and convalescence in allergic and sinusitis-susceptible patients and healthy controls.


Nine allergic subjects, 16 sinusitis-susceptible subjects, and 20 healthy controls were examined during days 2-4 of acute colds and 3 weeks later by taking viral specimens, recording symptoms, performing rhinomanometry and dyed saccharin tests, and evaluating sinus functioning with computed tomography (CT).


Viral etiology of the cold was identified in 31 (69%) subjects. Nasal airflow was decreased and MCC time prolonged during the cold compared to convalescence. A higher proportion of the allergic subjects, but not of the sinusitis-susceptible subjects, compared to the control subjects tended to have abnormal nasal airflow and MCC values. Abnormal nasal airflow and MCC values associated significantly with higher ipsilateral paranasal sinus CT scores.


Abnormal nasal airflow and MCC rates seem to be associated with impaired functioning of paranasal sinuses during viral colds and tend to be more common in allergic subjects.

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