The effects on cardiac functions and arterial blood gases of totally occluding nasal packs and nasal packs with airway§



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Errata Volume 121, Issue 6, 1351, Article first published online: 20 May 2011

  • We have all participated sufficiently in the conception and design of the work and in writing manuscript to take public responsibility for it.

  • All financial and material support for this research and work has been granted from Hacettepe University Scientific Research Fund.

  • §

    The authors state that they have no financial disclosures, and no conflicts of interest.



To evaluate the effects on cardiac functions and blood arterial gases of totally occluding nasal packs and nasal packs with airway.

Study Design:

Prospective, randomized trial.


Thirty-nine adults without any comorbidities underwent septoplasty or septorhinoplasty and had nasal packs placed postoperatively; 19 nasal packs with airways and 20 totally occluding nasal packs. Twenty-four-hour Holter monitorization was done pre- and postoperatively. Arterial blood gas analysis was performed both before the operation and after application of nasal packs.


Application of packs with airway did not cause any significant changes in blood gas parameters. Packing with totally occluding nasal packs caused a significant decrease in HCO3 and pCO2, and insignificant changes in pO2, O2 saturation, and pH. No serious arrhythmias were observed in any patient. In both groups, nasal packing resulted in a significant increase in minimum heart rates, a significant decrease in maximum heart rates, and insignificant changes in the mean heart rates. Heart rate variability obtained from 24-hour Holter electrocardiography was analyzed by power spectral analysis. An increase in the high-frequency (HF) domain, a decrease in the low-frequency (LF) domain, and a decrease in the LF/HF ratio were observed after packing in both groups.


Nasal pack-induced cardiac complications may occur due to increased vagal stimuli secondary to nasal mucosa compression rather than obstruction-related hypoxia. The use of nasal packs in the elderly patients with cardiopulmonary disease warrants close observation. Nasals packs with airways should be preferred in patients susceptible to hypoxia. Laryngoscope, 2010