Background: This study was designed to determine if the addition of large-volume, low-positive pressure nasal irrigations delivered with isotonic sodium chloride (hereinafter "saline") added to intranasal corticosteroid therapy improves quality of life and objective measures of nasal breathing in patients with allergic rhinitis when compared with intranasal corticosteroid alone.
Methods: A prospective, unblinded, single-arm pilot study was performed of patients with allergic rhinitis already on intranasal corticosteroid pharmacotherapy. Patients added large-volume low-pressure saline irrigation twice daily for 8 weeks to their ongoing regiment of nasal corticosteroid. Mini-Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of life Questionnaire (mRQLQ) assessment and nasal peak inspiratory flow (NPIF) were performed at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks.
Results: A total of 40 patients were enrolled. Twice-daily nasal irrigation with isotonic saline significantly (p < 0.001) reduced mRQLQ scores, from 36.7 ± 20.48 (baseline) to 14.9 ± 11.03 (4 weeks) to 10.10 ± 10.65 (8 weeks). No significant changes were seen in NPIF, pattern use of nasal steroid use, or adverse events.
Conclusion: Large-volume, low-positive pressure nasal irrigation with isotonic saline is an effective adjunctive therapy to improve quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis already on intranasal corticosteroid therapy. This study was a part of the clinical trial NCT01030146 registered at clinicaltrials.gov.