BACKGROUND: The use of nasoseptal flaps (NSF) for defect reconstruction in endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEA) to cranial base pathology has markedly reduced rates of cerebrospinal fluid leak. However, the effect of NSF use on post-operative olfaction remains unclear.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of NSF use during EEA on binarial and uninarial olfaction, and sinonasal quality of life (QOL).METHODS: This was a prospective double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Patients undergoing EEA for sellar pathology were recruited from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from December 2014 to May 2017. Subjects were randomized pre-operatively to a side of NSF harvest. Olfaction and QOL were assessed pre-operatively and 6 to 12months post-operatively using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, "Sniffin' Sticks," and Sinonasal Outcomes Test 22. The side of dominant uninarial olfaction was determined using "Sniffin' Sticks."RESULTS: Thirty-one patients were enrolled. Sixteen underwent EEA without NSF (control group) and 15 with NSF. A dominant side of olfaction was identified in 14 patients with NSF; 8 patients were randomized to NSF harvest on the dominant side and the remaining 6 on the non-dominant side. NSF elevation resulted in a 4% decrease in University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test scores, but was not statistically significant compared to controls. Similarly, NSF elevation on the side of dominant olfaction resulted in a 6% decrease, but was not statistically significant when compared to the non-dominant elevation group. Change in rhinologic QOL as determined by the Sinonasal Outcomes Test 22 was not significantly different between any of the groups.CONCLUSIONS: The use of NSF during EEA for sellar pathology does not have a significant effect on olfaction or rhinologic QOL. The presence of a dominant side of olfaction is not a primary consideration when deciding the side of NSF harvest.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1945892420957505
View details for PubMedID 32921136