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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2012 Jul-Aug;2(4):271-9. doi: 10.1002/alr.21044. Epub 2012 May 1.

Effect of steroid-releasing sinus implants on postoperative medical and surgical interventions: an efficacy meta-analysis.

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Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA 23507, USA.



Endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) can be compromised by postoperative inflammation, polyposis, and adhesions, often requiring subsequent interventions. A bioabsorbable, steroid-releasing sinus implant has been studied in 2 prospective, randomized clinical trials for its ability to preserve sinus patency and reduce medical and surgical interventions after ESS in patients with CRS. The objective of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of the efficacy results from the 2 trials.


The 2 prospective, randomized, double-blinded, multicenter trials enrolled a total of 143 patients utilizing an intrapatient control design. Postoperative day 30 videos were obtained for each patient, randomly ordered, and presented to an independent panel of 3 otolaryngologists for grading of efficacy endpoints. The need for postoperative interventions, formation of polyposis, and adhesions were assessed. Results from the 2 studies were then pooled.


Implants were successfully placed in all 286 ethmoid sinuses. According to the grading done by the panel, drug-releasing implants reduced postoperative interventions by 35% (p = 0.0008), lysis of adhesions by 51% (p = 0.0016), and oral steroid need by 40% (p = 0.0023), compared to controls. The relative reduction in frank polyposis was 46% (p < 0.0001).


Early postoperative healing is a predictor of longer-term success after sinus surgery. Evaluation of postoperative outcomes by a blinded independent panel demonstrates that steroid-releasing implants that provide a sustained release of corticosteroid improve surgical outcomes by reducing frank polyp formation, sinus adhesions, and middle turbinate lateralization. Steroid-releasing implants reduce the need for surgical intervention, and the need for oral steroid treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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