Predictors of rhinorrhea response after posterior nasal nerve cryoablation for chronic rhinitis

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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol


BACKGROUND: Posterior nasal nerve (PNN) cryoablation has shown promise in improving rhinorrhea due to allergic and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR). Early case series have shown meaningful clinical improvement in 75-80% of patients, but variables predicting PNN cryoablation success have not been studied. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether disease features and ipratropium nasal spray response predicted rhinorrhea response after PNN cryoablation.

METHODS: A multi-institutional retrospective case-control study of 55 patients who underwent PNN cryoablation for bilateral rhinorrhea due to allergic, nonallergic, or mixed rhinitis was conducted at 3 tertiary medical centers. Patients received a 1-month trial of ipratropium spray. Runny Nose Scores (RNSs) of 0-5 from the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test were collected prospectively, before and after PNN cryoablation.

RESULTS: The mean age of subjects was 55.3 years and 54.6% were women. Mean follow-up was 170 days. NAR comprised 62% of patients. Of the 48 patients who trialed ipratropium spray, 33 (69%) had some response and 15 (31%) had no response. Mean overall preprocedural RNS was 4.2 ± 1.0. After PNN cryoablation, there was a ≥1-point decrease in RNS in 39 patients (71%). Only ipratropium spray (INS) response predicted cryoablation success. For ipratropium spray responders, 28 of 33 (85%) had improved RNS after cryoablation, whereas 5 of 15 (33%) nonresponders improved (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION: In chronic rhinitis patients, rhinorrhea response to ipratropium was predictive of rhinorrhea improvement after PNN cryoablation. This study has important implications for preoperative counseling and guiding patient expectations when considering PNN cryoablation.

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ePub ahead of print