Radiofrequency inferior turbinate reduction: Long-term olfactory and functional outcomes

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term effects of radiofrequency inferior turbinate reduction (RITR) on nasal function in patients affected by nasal obstruction secondary to turbinate hypertrophy, focusing attention on increased sense of smell and its persistence after a 2-year follow-up. Study Design. Case series with planned data collection. Setting. ENT division, university hospital. Subjects and Methods. A total of 40 consecutive patients undergoing RITR for allergic or nonallergic chronic rhinitis with inferior turbinate hypertrophy were included. We planned a series of tests, including the "Sniffin' Sticks" test battery, anterior rhinomanometry, and the nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) scale, on the day of the procedure and at the 2-month and 2-year follow-up visits. Results. Of the 40 patients, 35 completed all the objective and subjective examinations on the day of the procedure and at the 2-month and 2-year follow-up visits. The authors found a significant decrease in nasal resistances from a mean of 1.13 Pa/cm 3s -1 preoperatively to a mean of 0.29 Pa/cm 3s -1 2 years postoperatively and improvement in odor threshold, discrimination, and identification scores 2 years postoperatively. The NOSE score diminished significantly 2 years after surgery from a mean of 23.14 to a mean of 4.14 (all P <.01 with the t test for repeated measures). Conclusion. This long-term evaluation showed that radiofrequency treatment for allergic or nonallergic inferior turbinate hypertrophy appeared to provide improvement in olfaction, decrease nasal resistances, and have subjective benefits, maintained 2 years after the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Nasal mucosa
  • NOSE
  • Olfaction
  • Quality of life
  • Radiofrequency
  • Smell
  • Sniffin test
  • Treatment
  • Turbinates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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