Initial surgical treatment for chronic frontal sinusitis: a pilot study

Samuel S Becker, Joseph K Han, Thuy-Anh Nguyen, Charles W Gross
Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology 2007, 116 (4): 286-9

OBJECTIVES: The initial surgical treatment for chronic frontal sinusitis is not well defined. Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of anterior ethmoidectomy for chronic frontal sinusitis.

METHODS: Patients with chronic frontal sinusitis who underwent anterior ethmoidectomy as initial surgical treatment were reviewed. Data were collected from computed tomography scans with use of the Lund-Mackay scale. Data on demographics, comorbidities, management, postoperative recovery, and follow-up were collected.

RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients representing 121 diseased frontal sinuses met the inclusion criteria. The respiratory comorbidities were asthma alone (8.3%), asthma and polyps (6.6%), aspirin triad (5.8%), and cystic fibrosis (0.8%). Nineteen of 121 frontal sinuses (15.7%) belonged to smokers. Fourteen of 121 frontal sinuses (11.5%) exhibited postoperative evidence of disease. Of these 14 frontal sinuses, 10 (8.3%) underwent revision surgery. Frontal sinuses of patients with aspirin triad, with both nasal polyposis and asthma, or with inter-frontal sinus septal cells were more likely to fail Draf I surgery (p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Anterior ethmoidectomy for drainage of frontal sinuses appears to be effective initial surgical treatment for chronic frontal sinusitis. Patients with aspirin triad, both asthma and polyposis, or inter-frontal sinus septal cells are more likely to fail this procedure.

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