BACKGROUND: Acute exacerbations in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) are often treated with courses of systemic antibiotics. Poor correlation between microbiologic culture results and the sinus microbiome in CRS has caused increased debate as to the relevance of culture-directed antibiotics. There is currently sparse data comparing outcomes of culture-directed antibiotics vs non-culture-directed antibiotics for treatment of CRS.METHODS: This work reports a retrospective review. A total of 946 CRS patients treated with antibiotics were examined; 122 CRS patients with acute exacerbations were treated with culture-directed (n = 61) vs empiric (n = 61) antibiotics. Lund-Kennedy (LK) and 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) scores were compared pretreatment and posttreatment, with short-term (<1 month) and long-term (1-6 months) follow-up. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and prior surgical history were collected.RESULTS: Both groups had similar pretreatment SNOT-22 scores (p = 0.25) while the culture group had higher baseline LK endoscopy scores (p < 0.01). All data were adjusted for pertinent comorbidities, surgical history, co-therapeutics, and baseline scores. There was no difference in improvement in culture-directed and empirically treated groups in the short-term (p = 0.77) and long-term (p = 0.58) for minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of SNOT-22 and no difference in the short-term for LK scores (p = 0.11), but there was significantly more improvement in long-term LK scores in the culture-directed group (p = 0.01).CONCLUSION: Culture-directed therapy improves long-term endoscopy scores but does not yield an advantage in improving short-term endoscopy scores, nor in improving short-term and long-term quality of life scores in CRS patients. A prospective study is necessary to examine the relevance of routine microbiologic cultures in CRS patients.
View details for PubMedID 29782068