Nasal nitric oxide in relation to psychiatric status of patients with empty nose syndrome

Nitric Oxide. 2019 Nov 1;92:55-59. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2019.07.005. Epub 2019 Aug 10.


Background: Although cases of empty nose syndrome (ENS) are not very common, the suffering that ENS causes patient is immense and could be very difficult to imagine. Nasal nitric oxide (nNO) is an airway disease biomarker, and its levels increase after endoscopic sinus surgery. The trend of nNO levels in ENS before and after surgical treatment remains unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the role of nNO in ENS.

Methods: Patients with ENS who received surgical implantation and with chronic hypertrophic rhinitis (CHR) who underwent turbinoplasty and completed at least 1 year of follow-up were prospectively enrolled. nNO measurements and subjective assessments [SinoNasal Outcome Test (SNOT)-22, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II, and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)] were performed preoperatively and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively.

Results: We enrolled 19 ENS and 12 CHR patients. nNO levels were significantly lower in the ENS than in the CHR patients before surgical treatment (p < 0.001). nNO levels in the ENS patients significantly increased 3 months after implantation and remained plateaued (p = 0.015). BDI-II and BAI scores significantly improved after surgical treatment for the ENS patients but not for the CHR patients; changes in nNO levels correlated well with improvements in BDI-II and BAI scores (p = 0.025 and 0.035, respectively).

Conclusions: nNO significantly increased at third month after surgical treatment and remained plateaued in ENS patients. This increase correlated with improvements in BDI-II and BAI scores. Therefore, nNO may be important in assessing the psychiatric status of empty nose syndrome.

Keywords: Beck anxiety inventory; Beck depression inventory-II; Empty nose syndrome; Nasal nitric oxide; Outcome; SinoNasal outcome Test-22; Submucosal implantation; Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / diagnosis
  • Hypertrophy / metabolism
  • Hypertrophy / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nose / chemistry*
  • Nose Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nose Diseases / metabolism*
  • Nose Diseases / psychology*
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / metabolism
  • Rhinitis / psychology
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult


  • Nitric Oxide