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Nasal polyp load determines the recovery of olfaction after surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis

Volume: 60 - Issue: 2

First page: 102 - Last page: 108

B.R. Haxel - L. Fischer - J. Pade - J. Reden - T. Hummel

Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is typically accompanied by impairment of olfaction. Despite of this, until today the efficacy of endonasal sinus surgery (ESS) in terms of olfactory function is still unclear. So far it is known that patients with nasal polyps are most likely to experience post-operative recovery. Within the present study we investigated the sense of smell and other parameters of impairment in CRS before and after ESS in relation to the degree of nasal polyposis, determined with the nasal endoscopic Lildholdt-score.
Methods: Patients with different degrees of severity of nasal polyposis were included. Olfactory function was assessed for odor thresholds [T], odor discrimination [D] and odor identification [I] and the changes of these parameters were investigated postoperatively.
Results: For 72 patients baseline measures were available and in 47 patients, postoperative changes were described. There was a correlation between olfactory scores and nasal anatomy/polyposis scores (Lildholdt scores, Lund-Mackay CT score), rated nasal health, and nasal quality of life (sinonasal outcome test). Three months after surgery the average TDI-Score improved by 3.1 points with 30% of patients showing significant clinical improvement. Patients with severe polyposis (Lildholdt score of 5 or 6) benefited most in terms of olfaction. Other significant prognostic indicators of a postoperative increase of olfactory scores included younger age, low pre-operative TDI-scores and high CT-scores.
Conclusions: This study shows that not only the presence of polyps in CRS, but also the degree of nasal polyposis - measured by a grading system - predicts the results in olfactory test results. Additionally, the degree of recovery of olfaction after ESS seems to be most relevant in patients with high polyp scores.

Rhinology 60-2: 102-108, 2022

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