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Clin Otolaryngol. 2018 Apr;43(2):525-532. doi: 10.1111/coa.13015. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Post-operative corticosteroid irrigation for chronic rhinosinusitis after endoscopic sinus surgery: A meta-analysis.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



Recently, topical steroid therapy delivery using high-volume sinonasal irrigations has been used more frequently, following endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS), to improve drug delivery into the paranasal sinuses.


The goal of this study was to perform a systematic review with meta-analysis of the efficacy of steroid nasal irrigation on post-operative management of Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) following ESS.


Five databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database) from inception to March 2017 were independently reviewed by two researchers. Studies that scored CRS endoscopic findings and CRS-related quality of life (QOL) post-operatively before and after steroid nasal irrigation and that compared the effects of steroid nasal irrigation (treatment groups) with saline alone irrigation (control group) were included in the analysis.


Twelve studies (n = 360) met inclusion criteria. Steroid nasal irrigation significantly reduced the endoscopic score compared with pre-treatment values and also improved QOL. Adverse effects following steroid nasal irrigation such as increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis disturbance were not significant. However, compared with saline alone irrigation, the additional effects of steroid irrigation were not significant in the view of the endoscopic score and disease-specific QOL.


Although steroid nasal irrigation would not induce adverse effects related to systemic steroid absorption, the beneficial effects of additional steroids in saline irrigation were ambiguous in regard to endoscopic score and CRS-related QOL improvement compared with saline alone irrigation. However, further clinical trials with robust research methodologies should be conducted to confirm the results of this study.


adverse effect; chronic sinusitis; irrigation; quality of life; steroid

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