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Acta Otolaryngol. 2000 Jan;120(1):62-6.

Effect of intranasal treatment with capsaicin on the recurrence of polyps after polypectomy and ethmoidectomy.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Eyes, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, Shanghai Medical University, People's Republic of China.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of five intranasal applications of capsaicin, performed after endoscopic polypectomy associated with partial middle turbinectomy and anterior ethmoidectomy, on the recurrence of nasal polyps and the intensity of nasal obstruction and rhinorrhea. Fifty-one patients (19 females, 32 males, mean age 43 years) suffering from nasal polyposis for more than 1 year were included in this double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. During post-surgical controls, local anaesthesia and vasoconstriction of the middle meatus area were performed in all patients with a cotton pellet soaked with lidocain and adrenaline. In 29 patients, the same type of cotton pellet soaked with capsaicin (3 x 10(-6) mol. dissolved in 70% ethanol) was left into the middle meatus of both nostrils for 20 min. As a control group, 22 patients, matched for age and sex, were treated with the capsaicin vehicle alone (70% ethanol). All patients studied received the intranasal treatment once a week for 5 weeks. Subjective evaluations of nasal airway resistance (NAR) and rhinorrhea were recorded by means of a visual analogue scale. Clinical staging of the nasal polyposis (graded from stage 0 = absence of polyp to stage 3 = polyps occupying the entire nasal cavity) was evaluated by the same ENT specialist (ZW) using a 0 degrees endoscope. All parameters were recorded for each patient 1 week before surgery, then once a month for 9 months. Patients treated by endoscopic surgery followed by intranasal capsaicin application, reported a marked reduction in their NAR compared with the pretreatment evaluation (p<0.001). In contrast, patients treated with the vehicle alone did not have any significant improvement of their subjective NAR. Subjective rhinorrhea was not modified by either treatment. Patients treated with capsaicin showed a significant smaller staging of their nasal polyposis compared with the control group (p<0.001). These observations suggest that endoscopic surgery followed by intranasal capsaicin application reduces polyps and nasal obstruction recurrence and could be an alternative treatment to expensive corticosteroids in developing countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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