Radiofrequency inferior turbinate reduction: An evaluation of olfactory and respiratory function

Massimiliano Garzaro, Matteo Pezzoli, Giancarlo Pecorari, Vincenzo Landolfo, Simona Defilippi, Carlo Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes after radiofrequency inferior turbinate reduction (RITR) on objective and subjective nasal function in patients with nasal obstruction caused by turbinate hypertrophy and to evaluate the possible effect on olfactory function. Study Design: Case series with planned data collection. Setting: ENT division, university hospital. Subjects and Methods: Forty consecutive patients who underwent RITR for allergic or nonallergic chronic rhinitis with inferior turbinate hypertrophy were tested before and two months after the surgical procedure, using the Sniffin' Sticks test battery, anterior rhinomanometry, and the nasal obstruction symptom evaluation (NOSE) scale. Results: The total basal nasal resistance at 150 Pa diminished significantly two months after surgery. Preoperative olfactory tests showed anosmia in five percent (n = 2) of the patients, hyposmia in 82 percent (n = 33), and normosmia in 12 percent (n = 5). At two months from the intervention, two percent (n = 1) were diagnosed as anosmic, 12 percent (n = 5) as hyposmic, and 85 percent (n = 34) as normosmic. The means of preoperative odor threshold (T), discrimination (D), identification (I), and the overall TDI score improved significantly postoperatively (P <0.001). The NOSE score in the two-month follow-up improved in 97.5 percent (n = 39) of patients, with a mean difference in pre- vs. postintervention score of 40.12 (95% confidence interval 35.75-44.25; P <0.001). Conclusion: RITR may provide excellent outcomes in terms of improvement in olfactory function and nasal flow in patients affected by turbinate hypertrophy refractory to medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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