Contemporary Use of Corticosteroids in Rhinology

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2017 Feb;17(2):11. doi: 10.1007/s11882-017-0679-0.


Purpose of review: Exogenously administered corticosteroids are widely used today in the field of rhinology. Allergic rhinitis (AR), non-allergic rhinitis (NAR), acute rhinosinusitis (ARS), chronic rhinosinusitis with (CRSwNP) and without (CRSsNP) nasal polyps, and autoimmune disorders with nasal manifestations are common diseases treated effectively with intranasal and oral glucocorticoids. We focus on physiological pathways, therapeutic benefits, indications, contra-indications, and side effects of glucocorticoid utilization in the treatment of rhinologic disorders such as AR, NAR, ARS, CRSsNP, and CRSwNP.

Recent findings: Second-generation intranasal steroid (INS) agents have pharmacokinetic characteristics that minimize their systemic bioavailability, resulting in minimum risk for systemic adverse events. Several studies have demonstrated the symptomatic efficacy of both intranasal and oral corticosteroids in ARS. Moreover, intranasal and systemic steroid administration has been repeatedly proven beneficial in the conservative and perioperative management of CRSwNP. For patients with AR, there is no need for oral steroids, with the exception of severe cases, as there is lack of superiority to INS. SCUAD patients challenge currently available treatment schemes, underlining the importance of research in the field. Corticosteroids' effectiveness in the treatment of various rhinologic disorders is indisputable. However, their characteristics, and potential side effects, make a clear consensus for utilization difficult.

Keywords: Chronic rhinosinusitis; Corticosteroids; Rhinitis; SCUAD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / drug therapy*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones