Exhaled nasal nitric oxide during humming: potential clinical tool in sinonasal disease?

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Abstract

The use of nasal nitric oxide (nNO) in sinonasal disease has recently been advocated as a potential tool to explore upper inflammatory airway disease. However, it is currently hampered by some factors including the wide range of measurement methods, the presence of various confounding factors and the heterogeneity of the study population. The contribution of nasal airway and paranasal sinuses communicating with the nose through the ostia represents the main confounding factor. There is accumulating evidence that nasal humming (which is the production of a tone without opening the lips or forming words) during nNO measurement increases nNO levels due to a rapid gas exchange in the paranasal sinuses. The aim of this review is to discuss the basic concepts and clinical applications of nNO assessment during humming, which represents a simple and noninvasive method to approach sinonasal disease.

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