Factors associated with computed tomography status in patients presenting with a history of chronic rhinosinusitis

Leah J. Abrass, Rakesh K. Chandra*, David B Conley Jr, Bruce Kuang-Huay Tan, Robert C Kern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is based upon symptomatic criteria and objective measures. However, patients suspected to have CRS based on a positive history but negative endoscopies remain a diagnostic challenge. We investigated the utility of point of care computed tomography (POC-CT) in resolving this issue. Methods: The study group consisted of a simple random sample of 100 patients presenting with active CRS symptoms and negative endoscopies who underwent POC-CT at initial presentation. Presenting symptoms and comorbidities were correlated with CT scan results (positive/negative) using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models. Results: POC-CT was considered positive in 49% of patients. Univariate analysis revealed that patients complaining nasal obstruction were significantly more likely to have a positive scan (odds ratio [OR], 2.74; p = 0.047), while those with postnasal drip (OR, 0.44; p = 0.047) or cough (OR, 0.17; p = 0.03) were less likely to have positive scan results. In the multivariate model, these trends persisted without reaching statistical significance. Under univariate analysis, patients who were prescribed antibiotics, oral steroids, or nasal steroids at this initial visit were more likely to have had a positive CT. These trends also persisted in the multivariate model, with significance observed for the association between antibiotic prescription and a positive scan (p = 0.001). Conclusion: Less than 50% of patients with active CRS symptoms had radiographic manifestations of sinus disease. Other etiologies must be considered higher in the differential for those presenting primarily with complaints referable to the throat. POC-CT averted unnecessary antibiotics in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-182
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Computed tomography
  • Cough
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Paranasal sinus disease
  • Postnasal drip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Medicine(all)


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