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J Craniofac Surg. 2018 May;29(3):e319-e322. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004443.

Is Coincidental Rhinosinusitis a Predisposing Factor for Postoperative Central Nervous System Infection After Endoscopic Endonasal Transsphenoidal Surgery?

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate the effect of rhinosinusitis in patients who undergo surgery via the endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach (EETSA).


The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent surgery via the EETSA between February 2009 and November 2016. In total, 505 patients were included in the study. Preoperative paranasal sinus computed tomography, sellar magnetic resonance imaging, and nasal endoscopy were performed for all the patients.


Fifteen patients without sphenoid sinusitis underwent surgery with the concomitant transsphenoidal approach and functional endoscopic sinus surgery, and showed no central nervous system (CNS) complication. During surgery via the EETSA, the presence of rhinosinusitis did not significantly affect the incidence of postoperative CNS infection (P = 0.051), except for sphenoid sinusitis (P = 0.003). Conversely, the incidence of postoperative CNS infection was not related significantly to the Lund-Mackay score or tumor size. The risk of CNS infection was 12.151-fold higher in patients with sphenoid sinusitis (95% confidence interval, 3.153-46.827; P ≤ 0.001).


Surgery via the EETSA and functional endoscopic sinus surgery can be safely performed together in most patients with rhinosinusitis. However, sphenoid sinus infection appears to be a predisposing factor for postoperative CNS infection. Therefore, a separate surgical procedure for sphenoid lesions should be considered in these patients before the use of the EETSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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