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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Apr;72(4):1243-6.

Nasal flow-resistive responses to challenge with cold dry air.

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Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.


Recent studies have suggested that the inhalation of cold air through the nose is associated with the subsequent release of mediators of immediate hypersensitivity. To determine if mucosal surface heat and water loss influence the nasal functional response to cold air, we measured nasal resistance by posterior rhinomanometry before and 1, 5, and 10 min after a 4-min period of isocapnic hyperventilation (30 l/min) through the nose in nine healthy subjects (5 males, 4 females; aged 25-39 yr) while they inhaled air at 0 degrees C. During the challenge period, the subjects breathed either in and out of the nose or in through the nose and out through the mouth. No changes in nasal resistance developed when subjects breathed exclusively through the nose; however, when subjects breathed in through the nose and out through the mouth, nasal resistance was increased 200% at 1 min (P less than 0.01) after the challenge and returned to baseline values by 10 min after cessation of the challenge. These data indicate that nasal functional responses to cold dry air are dependent on the pattern of the ventilatory challenge. If the heat given up from the nasal mucosa to the incoming air is not recovered during expiration (as is the case with inspiration through the nose and expiration through the mouth), nasal obstruction will occur. Hyperpnea of cold air, per se, does not influence nasal resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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