Posterior Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy (PITH)

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Feb;160(2):343-346. doi: 10.1177/0194599818805006. Epub 2018 Oct 9.


Hypertrophy of the soft tissue of the posterior inferior turbinate (PITH) may be observed during nasal endoscopy, although the clinical significance is not understood. We report a cross-sectional study of consecutive new patients undergoing baseline nasal endoscopy in a tertiary rhinology clinic. Subjects completed 22-Item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) and Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaires. Of 391 subjects screened, PITH was present in 62 (15.9%), with a female predominance. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis was comparable between PITH and non-PITH groups. Nonpurulent exudate flowing from the posterior inferior turbinate into the nasopharynx was more prevalent in association with PITH (83.9% vs 14.3%, P < .001). Mean SNOT-22 scores and NOSE scores were not significantly different between PITH and non-PITH groups. This preliminary study suggests that PITH is a common physical finding with unclear etiology and should be the subject of further investigation.

Keywords: nasal endoscopy; turbinate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Hypertrophy / surgery
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology
  • Nasal Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Nasal Obstruction / etiology
  • Nasal Obstruction / surgery
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis / complications
  • Rhinitis / pathology*
  • Rhinitis / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / complications
  • Sinusitis / pathology*
  • Sinusitis / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Symptom Assessment / methods
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Turbinates / pathology*