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Nasal response to stress test in healthy subjects: an experimental pilot study.

De Kermadec, Heloïse; Bequignon, Emilie; Zerah-Lancner, Francoise; Garin, Antoine; Devars du Mayne, Marie; Coste, André; Louis, Bruno; Papon, Jean-François.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol; 276(5): 1391-1396, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30771060


Stress has been suspected to play a role in rhinitis. The role of stress on nasal patency has been not yet elucidated. The aim was to evaluate the potential effects of stress on nasal patency in healthy subjects.


We conducted a prospective pilot study including 12 healthy subjects. Experimental protocol was divided in three periods (pre-task, task and recovery). In the task period, subjects were exposed to the "Trier Social Stress Test" (TSST), a standardized laboratory stressor. Different parameters including Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory (SSAI) score, visual analogic scale (VAS) of nasal patency feeling, heart rate, acoustic rhinometry measurements have been compared between the three different periods. The study population was divided into two groups according to the Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) score: A "non anxious" group and a "weakly anxious" group.


Seven subjects were in the "non anxious" group and five in the "weakly anxious" group. TSST significantly increased heart rate in all volunteers. SSAI score was significantly increased (p = 0.04) after the task period (36.6 ± 11.3) when compared to the SSAI score in pre-task period (31.9 ± 12.6). VAS score of nasal patency feeling significantly decreased from pre-task to task and recovery periods. Mean minimal cross-sectional areas and mean volumes of the nasal cavities were not significantly different between the three periods, except in "weakly anxious" group, but the small number of subjects does not allow to draw a definite conclusion.


We observed that stress influenced the feeling of nasal patency in healthy subjects. However, the objective effects of stress on nasal geometry were globally non-significant except in "weakly anxious" group. This latter result of our pilot study needs to be confirmed in a larger cohort.
Selo DaSilva