Usefulness of patient symptoms and nasal endoscopy in the diagnosis of chronic sinusitis

Am J Rhinol. 1998 May-Jun;12(3):167-71. doi: 10.2500/105065898781390208.


The diagnosis of chronic sinusitis can be difficult due to the variety and lack of specificity of presenting symptoms. Sinus CT scanning is presently considered the most sensitive and specific diagnostic method, but is expensive. In order to determine whether a combination of patient symptoms and nasal endoscopy could be used to predict which patients would have CT evidence of chronic sinusitis, we conducted a prospective study in which 92 consecutive patients referred for chronic sinusitis were required to fill out a questionnaire detailing their symptoms. Their responses were then correlated with subsequent findings on nasal endoscopy and CT scanning. Briefly, we found that patients with headache or facial pain as their chief complaint were less likely to have evidence of sinusitis than patients whose chief complaint was nasal obstruction or postnasal drip. Also, nasal endoscopy was shown to be moderately sensitive and highly specific in predicting results of CT scanning.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Endoscopy*
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology
  • Nasal Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Nasal Polyps / diagnosis
  • Nose / diagnostic imaging
  • Nose / pathology*
  • Nose Diseases / physiopathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis*
  • Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Sinusitis / physiopathology
  • Suppuration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed