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Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(1):61-3. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3539.

Endoscopically guided chitosan nasal packing for intractable epistaxis.

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Division of Rhinology, The Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of endoscopically guided chitosan packing in controlling intractable epistaxis. A prospective case series was performed.


This is a prospective clinical study conducted in a tertiary rhinology fellowship training hospital between January 2009 and November 2009. The study population consisted of patients with intractable epistaxis that failed to respond to traditional anterior-posterior nasal packing using either a 10-cm Pope PVA Merocel or a Rapid-Rhino. The bleeding site was identified using a nasal endoscope and controlled using a pack made of a ChitoFlex chitosan dressing wrapped around a polyvinyl acetal nasal sponge.


The intent-to-treat population consisted of 20 severe epistaxis subjects (8 men and 12 women) who continued to bleed despite traditional anterior-posterior nasal packing. The mean age was 67 years (±19 years). Sixteen subjects were on antiplatelets and/or anticoagulants. Eleven subjects (55%) presented with anterior epistaxis, and 7 subjects (35%) presented with posterior epistaxis. Chitosan nasal packing was performed on an outpatient basis and resulted in effective and immediate hemostasis in 19/20 subjects (95%). One subject had persistent bleeding after the first packing attempt and was successfully repacked within 30 minutes. Time to complete cessation of bleeding was 3.6 ± 2.2 minutes in the 19 subjects; the pack was removed after 48 hours, without any evidence of rebleeding or any serious side effects.


Endoscopically guided chitosan packing is a safe, effective, and well-tolerated outpatient treatment for the management of intractable epistaxis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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