Nasal saline irrigation in pediatric rhinosinusitis: A systematic review

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 May;108:155-162. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Mar 6.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of nasal saline irrigation (NSI) in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life in pediatric patients with acute (ARS) or chronic (CRS) rhinosinusitis.

Data sources: We searched the PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase electronic databases (indexed January, 1950 through April, 2017).

Review methods: Studies assessing the efficacy of NSI in pediatric patients with ARS or CRS were selected for analysis. Outcome measures, including symptom scores and parental surveys, were analyzed. Two independent reviewers evaluated each abstract and article.

Results: Of the 272 articles identified using our search strategy, only 1 study, focusing on the use of NSI in pediatric ARS, met all inclusion criteria. No studies investigating NSI in pediatric CRS were included for analysis. In general, studies demonstrated significant improvement of symptom scores with the use of NSI in pediatric rhinosinusitis; but, the use of varied outcome measures, control treatments, and NSI delivery made including studies and drawing conclusions difficult. No quantitative meta-analysis could be performed.

Conclusion: NSI may provide benefit for ARS in children; however, additional high-quality studies with defined outcome measures are needed to determine the quantitative efficacy of this therapy in the pediatric patients with rhinosinusitis-especially in pediatric CRS.

Keywords: Nasal saline irrigation; Pediatric otolaryngology; Rhinosinusitis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nasal Lavage / adverse effects
  • Nasal Lavage / methods*
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis / therapy*
  • Sinusitis / therapy*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium Chloride / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nasal Sprays
  • Sodium Chloride