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This study aimed to compare two sampling methods for nasal nitric oxide in healthy individuals and allergic rhinitis patients, and to examine the within-subject reliability of nasal nitric oxide measurement.
The study included 23 allergic rhinitis patients without concomitant asthma and 10 healthy individuals. For all participants, nitric oxide levels were measured non-invasively from the lungs through the mouth (i.e. the oral fractional exhaled nitric oxide) and the nose. Nasal nitric oxide was measured by two different methods: (1) nasal aspiration via one nostril during breath holding and (2) single-breath quiet exhalation against resistance through a tight facemask (i.e. the nasal fractional exhaled nitric oxide).
Compared with healthy participants, allergic rhinitis patients had significantly higher average oral and nasal nitric oxide levels. All methods of nitric oxide measurement had excellent reliability.
Nasal nitric oxide measurement is a useful and reliable clinical tool for diagnosing allergic rhinitis in patients without asthma in an out-patient setting.
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