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.