OBJECTIVE: To evaluate improvements in otologic symptoms after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), and identify differences in symptoms, if any, between CRS patients with (CRSwNP) and without (CRSsNP) nasal polyposis.STUDY DESIGN: Prospective multi-center observational cohort study.SETTING: Academic tertiary medical centers.SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Adults with medically recalcitrant CRS who elected ESS were enrolled in a prospective, multi-center, observational cohort study between March, 2011 and October, 2014. Preoperative evaluation of subjects included assessment of clinical characteristics, measures of disease severity, and quality of life evaluation using the 22-item SinoNasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22). Postoperative improvement in otologic symptoms (ear fullness, dizziness, ear pain) scores were evaluated and compared between CRSwNP and CRSsNP subgroups.RESULTS: 395 study patients completed both preoperative and postoperative evaluations, with an average follow-up of 13.9 months after ESS. The prevalence of patients reporting at least one otologic symptom preoperatively (87%) significantly decreased after ESS (63%; p<0.001). Significant postoperative improvement across all otologic scores was also reported (p<0.001). Relative mean improvement in otologic symptom severity was similar for both CRSwNP and CRSsNP, except patients with CRSwNP reported significantly greater postoperative improvement in ear fullness compared to CRSsNP (54% vs. 41%; p=0.039). A total of 61%, 44%, and 43% of patients reported experiencing improvement in "ear fullness", "dizziness" and "ear pain", respectively.CONCLUSION: Sinus surgery significantly improves otologic symptoms associated with CRS. CRSwNP patients reported slightly greater relief of ear fullness than CRSsNP patients following ESS.
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