The presence of eosinophil aggregates correlates with increased postoperative prednisone requirement

Laryngoscope. 2019 Apr;129(4):794-799. doi: 10.1002/lary.27693. Epub 2018 Dec 28.


Objectives/hypothesis: Failure after sinus surgery is multifactorial, but often due to recurrence of inflammatory mucosal disease. Postoperative steroid requirements for controlling mucosal inflammation may provide insight into predicting which patients require more aggressive medical therapy to prevent disease relapse.

Study design: Retrospective chart review.

Methods: A review was performed of patients who underwent functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) for refractory chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-22 scores and cumulative prednisone dose (milligrams) requirements at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively were reviewed. A structured histopathology report of 11 variables was accessed to correlate histopathology with postoperative steroid requirements.

Results: One hundred one patients were reviewed including 42 CRS with nasal polyps and 59 CRS without nasal polyps patients. CRS patients with eosinophilia required greater cumulative steroids to control disease at 1-, 3-, and 6-month postoperative intervals (P < .026, P < .007, P < .013, respectively) compared to patients without eosinophilia. Patients with tissue eosinophil aggregates required the highest cumulative steroids at 1-, 3-, and 6-month postoperative intervals (P < .003, P < .001, P < .001, respectively). When removing patients with eosinophil aggregates from the eosinophilia group, no difference persisted between patients with eosinophilia and those without eosinophilia at all intervals (P = .664, P = .735, P = .800, respectively). No other histopathology variable correlated with postoperative steroid requirement.

Conclusions: Tissue eosinophil aggregates appear to be the largest driving factor for increased prednisone requirements after sinus surgery to control mucosal disease than mere presence of eosinophils. This key finding may identify patients at high risk for failure after sinus surgery and guide more proactive postoperative management.

Level of evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 129:794-799, 2019.

Keywords: Chronic rhinosinusitis; inflammation; nasal polyps; prednisone; sinus surgery; structured histopathology.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Eosinophilia / blood
  • Eosinophilia / complications
  • Eosinophilia / etiology
  • Eosinophils / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Nasal Mucosa / surgery*
  • Nasal Polyps / blood
  • Nasal Polyps / complications
  • Nasal Polyps / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / blood
  • Rhinitis / complications
  • Rhinitis / surgery
  • Sinusitis / blood
  • Sinusitis / complications
  • Sinusitis / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Prednisone