The efficacy of hypertonic saline nasal irrigation for chronic sinonasal symptoms

David Rabago, Thomas Pasic, Aleksandra Zgierska, Marlon Mundt, Bruce Barrett, Rob Maberry

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98 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess quality of life (QOL) in patients with sinonasal symptoms in response to hypertonic saline nasal irrigation (HSNI), and to assess HSNI use patterns. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: The study was an uncontrolled 12-month follow-up to a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and used HSNI in a community setting. We included 54 participants with recurrent or chronic sinonasal symptoms. Forty participants had been in the intervention group of a previous study; 14 had been control participants. Primary outcome measures were the Rhinosinusitis Disability Index (RSDI), a sinus-symptom severity assessment (SIA), and the Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test (SNOT-20). Secondary outcome measures were frequency and pattern of HSNI use, side effects and satisfaction. RESULTS: Among participants using HSNI in the prior RCT, RSDI scores continued to improve, from 73.2 ± 2.6 points to 80.6 ± 2.4 points (P < 0.001). SIA and SNOT-20 scores remained stable. Former control participants reported QOL improvement similar to that of HSNI users in the prior RCT. RSDI scores improved from 62.0 ± 3.9 points to 79.7 ± 3.7 points (P < 0.05), SNOT-20 scores improved from 43.5 ± 5.7 points to 28.4 ± 4.8 points, and SIA scores improved from 4.2 ± 0.3 points to 2.6 ± 0.3 points (P < 0.01). Mean HSNI use for all participants was 2.4 irrigations per week; 33% of participants used HSNI regularly, 55% when symptomatic. Side effects were minor; satisfaction was high. CONCLUSIONS: Participants with chronic sinonasal symptoms reported improved QOL and frequent, satisfying use of HSNI. SIGNIFICANCE: HSNI is an effective adjunctive treatment of chronic sinonasal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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