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Features of inhalant allergy on nasal endoscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Volume: 60 - Issue: 5

First page: 335 - Last page: 346

G. Osie - K. Wegrecki - R. Alvarado - R.G. Campbell - L. Kalish - J. Rimmer - R. Sacks - R.J. Harvey

Background: Nasal endoscopy is increasingly accessible to ENT surgeons. The characteristics of the allergic upper airway are not well recognised.
Methodology: MEDLINE (1946-2021), EMBASE (1974-2021), and the Cochrane Library were searched on 16th November 2021 to identify articles that reported endoscopic findings of patients with documented allergy who had undergone nasal endoscopy. The review followed the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy. Meta-analysis was performed by pooling sensitivities and specificities using the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristics model.
Results: A total of 4108 articles were identified, of which 15 manuscripts met the inclusion criteria. The included studies involved 4660 patients who had undergone nasal endoscopy. Middle turbinate (diffuse/polypoid) oedema (sensitivity 58.0%, specificity 84.5%), watery secretions (sensitivity 65.7%, specificity 76.5%), inferior turbinate hypertrophy (sensitivity 86.2%, specificity 32.2%), and unspecified turbinate hypertrophy (sensitivity 82.0%, specificity 42.9%) were identified as the features with the highest predictive value of inhalant allergy.
Conclusions: Diffuse or polypoid oedema of the middle turbinate or watery secretions seen on nasal endoscopy can be a useful adjunct in the identification and diagnosis of inhalant allergy. These clinical features should be part of the diagnostic workup for patients that includes a clinical history and surrogate markers of allergic sensitisation from the skin and serum.

Rhinology 60-5: 335-346, 2022

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