Efficacy of targeted medical therapy in chronic rhinosinusitis, and predictors of failure

Devyani Lal, Joseph M. Scianna, James A. Stankiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background: No standardized medical therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is universally accepted. Success of medical therapy is reportedly 50% to 88%, but studies differ in inclusion criteria, medications, duration of therapy, and defining "success." The objectives of this study were to determine efficacy of a standardized targeted medical therapy (TMT) regimen in CRS and to analyze factors associated with failure of therapy. Methods: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was performed. CRS was diagnosed based on CRS Taskforce guidelines. TMT was defined as a minimum 4-week treatment with oral antibiotics, oral steroids, topical nasal steroids, topical nasal decongestant rotation, and saline nasal douching. "Failure" was defined as relapse/ persistence of signs/symptoms or need for surgery. One hundred forty-five patients that received TMT, with a minimum 2-month follow-up, were identified. The results of therapy were reviewed to determine efficacy and analyze factors associated with failure. Results: Seventy-four patients (51.03%) were successfully treated. Failures included 26 patients (17.8%) with only partial improvement and 45 (31.03%) who underwent surgery. Only history of facial pressure/pain (p = 0.049), presence of mucosal inflammation (p = 0.013), and higher endoscopic severity grade (p = 0.011) were associated with failure of TMT. Conclusions: TMT was unequivocally successful in 51% of patients. Failures included 31% who underwent surgery and 18% with partial benefit. Surgery was avoided in 69%. Facial pressure/pain, mucosal inflammation, and higher endoscopic severity grade were associated with failure of medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-400
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Antibiotics
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Efficacy
  • Maximal medical therapy
  • Nonpolypoid sinusitis
  • Oral steroids
  • Targeted medical therapy
  • Topical nasal decongestant
  • Topical nasal steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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