Chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis; indicia of heterogeneity

Vegard Bugten, Ståle Nordgård, Pål Romundstad, Sverre Steinsvåg
Rhinology 2008, 46 (1): 40-4

BACKGROUND: Nasal polyposis (NP) is considered to be a subgroup of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). However differences in cellular and mediator profiles suggest that they could be distinct entities.

OBJECTIVE: To look for group differences in characteristics and symptom severity before and after surgery in patients suffering from CRS and bilateral NP that could clinically support the hypothesis that NP and CRS are different pathological processes and to compare the effect of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) in CRS patients and NP patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-five patients with CRS and 57 patients with bilateral NP were included in this prospective trial. We used t-tests for independent groups to compare preoperative symptoms as recorded on visual analogue scale (VAS). To evaluate if there were differences in symptom improvement between the groups we used analysis of covariance. Categorical variables were compared using exact tests.

RESULTS: Mean age was 38 years for the CRS group and 47 years for the NP group, the difference was significant (p = 0.0001). NP patients underwent significantly more posterior ethmoidectomies than patients suffering from CRS (p = 0.001), and asthma was significantly more prevalent in NP than in CRS (p = 0.007). Comparing preoperative symptoms as recorded on VAS we found significant differences. While patients with NP suffered significantly more from nasal blockage and change in their sense of smell than CRS patients, patients with CRS presented with more facial pain and headache. There were no differences in symptom improvement, as both conditions responded similarly to FESS.

CONCLUSION: Differences in symptom severity, nasal endoscopy, age of patients and prevalence of asthma indicate that NP and CRS are different entities. Nevertheless, both conditions respond similarly to FESS.


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