Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a downstream complication following radiotherapy or chemoradiation for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) is an accepted therapy for medically refractory CRS, but its efficacy in addressing CRS symptoms in patients with previously irradiated NPC is unclear.All patients at the Stanford Sinus Center with a history of radiation therapy or chemoradiation for NPC between 2006 and 2015 were reviewed. Patients without antecedent CRS prior to NPC treatment (n = 26) were retrospectively divided into 2 cohorts based on whether they developed postirradiation CRS and underwent ESS (surgical group, n = 13) or did not develop CRS (control, n = 13). Demographic and clinical characteristics were collected, and temporal changes in 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) score were compared.The median time following primary irradiation to initial presentation was 6.8 and 6.5 years in the surgical and control groups, respectively. The surgical cohort had statistically greater baseline SNOT-22 scores than the control group (45 vs 14, p = 0.0198). At 6 to 12 months postoperatively, the surgical group demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in SNOT-22 scores when compared to controls (15-point decrease vs 0, p = 0.0040), ultimately resulting in similar SNOT-22 scores for both groups (28 vs 18, p = 0.3687). The rhinologic, extranasal, and ear/face subdomain scores of the surgical group were significantly greater than those of the control group preoperatively (rhinologic: p = 0.0010; extranasal: p = 0.0179; ear/face: p = 0.0068), but these disparities resolved postoperatively (rhinologic: p = 0.1461; extranasal: p = 0.3131; ear/face: p = 0.3401).ESS appears to effectively manage recalcitrant CRS symptoms in patients previously treated with radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy for NPC.
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