Symptom and disease severity differences between nasal septal deviation and chronic rhinosinusitis

Neil Bhattacharyya
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2005, 133 (2): 173-7

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) exhibit more severe sinonasal symptom scores as compared with patients with nasal septal deviation (NSD) alone.

METHODS: Two patient cohorts were prospectively identified: patients undergoing surgery for NSD alone and those undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery for CRS without NSD. Patients in the NSD group were required to have normal paranasal sinus CT scans, whereas patients in the CRS group were required to have radiographic evidence of CRS. All patients completed the Rhinosinusitis Symptom Inventory (RSI). Statistical comparisons were conducted between cohorts with respect to RSI symptom domains and medical resource utilization.

RESULTS: A total of 42 patients were identified in the NSD group (mean age, 40.8 years) and 155 patients were identified in the CRS group (mean age, 44.9). Patients with CRS demonstrated higher severity scores for the nasal symptom domains (60.3 [CRS] versus 53.9 [NSD], P = 0.037). Oropharyngeal symptoms and total symptoms were also worse for the CRS group versus the NSD group (29.8 versus 23.1, P = 0.014 and 43.0 versus 37.0, P = 0.030). Facial and systemic symptom scores did not differ between groups. Patients with CRS demonstrated significantly higher utilization rates for topical nasal steroids (21.2 versus 12.2 weeks, P = 0.006) and oral antibiotics (7.9 weeks versus 2.1 weeks, P < 0.001), but not for oral antihistamines (P = 0.420).

CONCLUSIONS: Although patients with CRS manifest higher sinonasal symptom scores than patients with NSD alone, differentiating these 2 diagnoses on the basis of symptoms alone is difficult. These data suggest that as a disease process, CRS confers a significant disease burden with more significant negative symptom impact.

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