Prediction of outcome of radiofrequency ablation of the inferior turbinates

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2014 Jun;4(6):470-4. doi: 10.1002/alr.21303. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the turbinates is used commonly for nasal obstruction; however, there is no consensus on patient selection for this surgery.

Methods: In a prospective clinical study, 53 adult subjects with bilateral turbinate hypertrophy were evaluated subjectively and objectively with anterior rhinomanometry at baseline and at 1, 3, and 6 months post-RFA of turbinates.

Results: RFA of the turbinates resulted in a significant decrease in predecongestant and postdecongestant visual analogue scale (VAS) scores and resistance measurements at postoperative months 1, 3, and 6 (p < 0.001 for all). Preoperative baseline subjective response to the decongestant showed a positive correlation with postoperative first month subjective and objective outcome (p < 0.05). Preoperative baseline objective response to the decongestant showed a highly significant correlation with postoperative 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month objective outcomes of surgery (p < 0.05 for all).

Conclusion: Objective measures do not correlate with long-term subjective satisfaction even when the nose is objectively patent in subjects who underwent inferior turbinate RFA. The patients' long-term subjective benefit from RFA surgery cannot be estimated after a rhinomanometry with topical decongestion is performed. Performing a rhinomanometry with topical decongestion may help only to estimate the patients' objective benefit from RFA surgery.

Keywords: inferior turbinate hypertrophy; nasal objective evaluation; nasal obstruction; nonallergic rhinitis; radiofrequency ablation; rhinomanometry; turbinate surgery; visual analogue scale.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / complications
  • Hypertrophy / diagnosis*
  • Hypertrophy / surgery
  • Male
  • Nasal Decongestants / administration & dosage
  • Nasal Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Nasal Obstruction / etiology
  • Nasal Obstruction / prevention & control
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rhinomanometry*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turbinates / pathology*
  • Turbinates / surgery
  • Visual Analog Scale
  • Young Adult


  • Nasal Decongestants