Send to

Choose Destination
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30;(4):CD008253. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008253.pub3.

Topical nasal steroids for treating nasal polyposis in people with cystic fibrosis.

Author information

ENT Department, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK.



Nasal polyps frequently occur in people with cystic fibrosis. Sinus infections have been shown to be a factor in the development of serious chest complications in these people. Nasal polyps have been linked to a higher risk of lower respiratory tract infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa . Topical nasal steroids are of proven efficacy for treating nasal polyposis in the non-cystic fibrosis population. There is no clear current evidence for the efficacy of topical steroids for nasal polyps in people with cystic fibrosis.


To assess the effectiveness of topical nasal steroids for treating symptomatic nasal polyps in people with cystic fibrosis.


We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Trials Register comprising references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings.Latest search: 25 January 2013.


Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled comparing the effects of topical nasal steroids to placebo in people with nasal polyps with cystic fibrosis.


Two authors independently assessed risk of bias in the included trial and extracted data.


One single-centred trial (46 participants) was identified comparing a topical steroid (betamethasone) to placebo. Twenty-two participants received the active drug.Subjective symptom scores, change in polyp size, and side effects were assessed. There was no difference in nasal symptom scores between the treatment and placebo groups. Betamethasone was effective in reducing the size of polyps, but was associated with increased reports of mild side effects, nasal bleeding and discomfort.Risk of bias was high since over 50% of people enrolled did not complete the study. Follow-up of patients was short (six weeks) also reducing the significance of the results for clinical practice.


This review suggests topical steroids for nasal polyposis in patients with cystic fibrosis have no demonstrable effect on subjective nasal symptom scores. They have some effect in reducing the size of the polyps, but due to the small sample size, poor study completion rates and lack of follow-up, the study is at high risk of bias and evidence for efficacy is limited. Overall there is no clear evidence for using topical steroids in people with cystic fibrosis and nasal polyposis.A well-designed randomised controlled trial of adequate power and long-term follow-up is needed. Validated measures of symptoms and physical findings should be performed and quality of life issues addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center