Corticosteroid therapy during endoscopic sinus surgery in children: is there a need for a second look?

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001 Feb;127(2):188-92. doi: 10.1001/archotol.127.2.188.


Objective: To determine whether intravenous administration of dexamethasone during endoscopic sinus surgery in children will decrease scarring and edema during a second-look procedure.

Design: Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Setting: University medical center.

Patients: Forty-eight children undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic sinusitis.

Intervention: Twenty-four children received intravenous dexamethasone and 24 received placebo intraoperatively before the start of the procedure.

Main outcome measures: The status of the ethmoid cavity, the status of the mucosa in the maxillary sinuses, and the patency of the maxillary sinus ostium during the second-look procedure performed 2 to 3 weeks after the primary procedure.

Results: Children who received intravenous dexamethasone had significantly less maxillary sinus mucosal edema, less ethmoid scarring, and a lower incidence of closure of the maxillary ostium (P = .02). During the second-look procedure, 62% of children in the noncorticosteroid group had abnormal findings vs 29% in the corticosteroid group. Patients with asthma, lower computed tomography scores, and no exposure to smoking had a significantly lower incidence of scarring with use of corticosteroids. Children older than 6 years benefited from intravenous corticosteroid therapy vs children 6 years and younger.

Conclusions: Treatment with intravenous dexamethasone during endoscopic sinus surgery was safe and was helpful in reducing scarring and swelling noted during the second-look procedure. Use of corticosteroids was particularly helpful in children with asthma, lower computed tomography scores, and no exposure to smoking and in children older than 6 years.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation*
  • Sinusitis / surgery*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dexamethasone