Evidence suggests IgE may play a role in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). We sought to determine if treatment with a monoclonal antibody against IgE (omalizumab) is effective in reducing CRS inflammation. We performed a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial in subjects with CRS despite treatment (including surgery). Subjects were randomized to receive omalizumab or placebo for 6 months. The primary outcome was quantitative measurement of sinus inflammation on imaging. Secondary outcome measures included quality of life, symptoms, and cellular inflammation, nasal airflow (NPIF) and olfactory testing (UPSIT). Subjects on omalizumab showed reduced inflammation on imaging after treatment, whereas those on placebo showed no change. The net difference, however, was not different between treatments. Treatment with omalizumab was associated with improvement in the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-20) at 3, 5, and 6 months compared to baseline with no significant changes in the control group. Remaining measures showed no significant differences across treatments. We conclude that IgE plays, at most, a small role in the mucosal inflammation of CRS and the symptoms. Placebo controlled, blinded studies with larger enrollment are needed to determine the clinical significance of any potential change.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00117611.