Archived Policies - Medicine

Rhinomanometry and Acoustic Rhinometry


Effective Date:08-15-2003

End Date:09-30-2007


Rhinomanometry (RM) and acoustic rhinometry are considered experimental or investigational.


RM measures air pressure and the rate of airflow in the nasal airway during respiration.  These findings are used to calculate nasal airway resistance.  RM is intended to be an objective quantification of nasal airway patency.

Acoustic rhinometry is a technique intended for assessment of the geometry of the nasal cavity, nasopharynx and for the evaluation of nasal obstruction.  The technique is based on an analysis of sound waves reflected from the nasal cavities. 

The techniques are proposed for use in comparing the decongestive action of antihistamines/corticosteroids and for assessment of the patient prior to nasal surgery.


This policy was based on a 1987 TEC assessment that stated the following:

"The available evidence does not conclusively demonstrate the ability of RM to improve health outcomes in the assessment of nasal airway patency. Specifically, no data have supported the use of RM as a method to differentiate causes of obstruction. Also, reports on the use of RM to select patients for surgery have not fully studied the predictive value of this test. Finally, the benefit from RM as an adjunct to or replacement of other technologies has not been adequately demonstrated in the literature."

A MEDLINE search conducted through 1/2003 identified no additional information that would alter the conclusions of TEC.


Each benefit plan, summary plan description or contract defines which services are covered, which services are excluded, and which services are subject to dollar caps or other limitations, conditions or exclusions. Members and their providers have the responsibility for consulting the member's benefit plan, summary plan description or contract to determine if there are any exclusions or other benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply. If there is a discrepancy between a Medical Policy and a member's benefit plan, summary plan description or contract, the benefit plan, summary plan description or contract will govern.



Medicare Coverage:



BCBSA TEC Evaluation, Rhinomanometry, 5/87, pages 148-153

A MEDLINE search of literature completed through January 2003 identified no additional information that would alter previous conclusions.

Policy History:

Archived Document(s):

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