Allergic Rhinitis is the most common atopic disease, with an estimated 10% of the global population being afflicted, more than allergic asthma. This disease specifically affects the nose with symptoms typically including itching, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal obstruction. Symptoms vary in intensity and duration, particularly nasal obstruction, which significantly impairs the patients’ normal breathing and impact quality of life.
In its typical use, the flexiVent requires an intubated or tracheostomized animal, where the measurement signals bypass the upper airways and are delivered directly to the lung. To assess the impact of this atopic disease, a retrograde cannulation is performed where the cannula is inserted into the trachea and directed away from the lungs towards the upper airways.
In preclinical models of allergic rhinitis, the flexiVent has been successfully used to directly measure changes in the resistance of the upper airways. Measurements taken in this configuration provide a quantitative assessment of the upper airway and nasal constriction and inflammation, while providing the same reproducibility and accuracy as measurements in the lower airways taken with the flexiVent.
In allergic rhinitis, upper airways obstruction results mainly from vasodilation, edema, and hyper secretion. As a result, it has the potential of directly affecting the subjects’ ability to breathe normally. During an allergic episode in an allergic rhinitis model, a consciously breathing animal will modulate their breathing. By accurately tracking minute changes in the ventilatory parameters, the vivoFlow provides continuous and non-invasive assessments of the upper airway constriction. Therefore, an integrated nebulizer can provide the allergen challenge to induce the upper airway constriction while the system tracks changes in outcomes such as a decreased respiratory rate. Sneezes can also be detected with whole body plethysmography and can be quantified by integrating a microphone into the chamber.
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