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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1245418, 9 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Changes in Heart Rate Variability and Nasal Airflow Resistance during Nasal Allergen Provocation Test

1Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Received 1 May 2015; Revised 18 January 2016; Accepted 19 January 2016

Academic Editor: Mohamad Sawan

Copyright © 2016 Tiina M. Seppänen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Allergic rhinitis is a major chronic respiratory disease and an immunoneuronal disorder. We aimed at providing further knowledge on the function of the neural system in nasal allergic reaction. Here, a method to assess simultaneously the nasal airflow resistance and the underlying function of autonomic nervous system (ANS) is presented and used during the nasal provocation of allergic and nonallergic subjects. Continuous nasal airflow resistance and spectral heart rate variability parameters show in detail the timing and intensity differences in subjects’ reactions. After the provocation, the nasal airflow resistance of allergic subjects showed a positive trend, whereas LF/HF (Low Frequency/High Frequency) ratio and LF power showed a negative trend. This could imply a gradual sympathetic withdrawal in allergic subjects after the allergen provocation. The groups differed significantly by these physiological descriptors. The proposed method opens entirely new opportunities to research accurately concomitant changes in nasal breathing function and ANS.