A randomized trial examining the effect of pretreatment point-of-care computed tomography imaging on the management of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms

Bruce K. Tan*, Rakesh K. Chandra, David B. Conley, Robin Smolak Tudor, Robert C. Kern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recent consensus statements on the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) now require endoscopic or radiographic evidence of paranasal sinus inflammation. The timing of point-of-care (POC) computed tomography (CT) scan in the workup of these patients remains to be elucidated, particularly when endoscopy is negative. The objective of this research was to prospectively evaluate 2 algorithms for the initial management of patients with symptoms of CRS who manifest a normal nasal endoscopic examination. Methods: A total of 40 such patients were randomized to 1 of 2 pathways: POC-CT at the initial visit followed by medical therapy based upon CT results (pre-CT group; n = 20), or empiric medical therapy (EMT) followed by POC posttreatment CT if symptoms persisted (EMT group; n = 20). Results: The 2 groups were demographically and symptomatically similar with regard to 2003 Task Force major criteria. Otolaryngology follow-up was recommended in 11 of 20 pre-CT patients, all of whom (100%) returned. In contrast, only 10 of 20 EMT patients (50%) followed up as instructed (p < 0.05). Radiographic confirmation of CRS was found in 8 of 20 pre-CT patients, and only 2 of 9 patients after EMT (p = 0.61). EMT patients received more antibiotic prescriptions (relative ratio [RR], 2.50; 95% CI, 1.46-4.27), while pre-CT patients received more CT scans (RR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.37-3.61). Overall prescriptions costs were similar to the EMT group ($253 vs $218; p = 0.37) and the overall number of otolaryngology visits was similar. Conclusion: In patients with symptoms of CRS but negative endoscopy, POC at initial presentation results in substantially less unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and significantly greater compliance with otolaryngology care but does result in a higher utilization of radiographic imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Physician's practice patterns
  • Point-of-care systems
  • Sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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