Saline nasal irrigations for chronic rhinosinusitis: From everyday practice to evidence-based medicine. An update

Manuele Casale, Antonio Moffa, Michele Cassano, Francesco Carinci, Michele Antonio Lopez, Eleonora Maria Consiglia Trecca, Sara Torretta, Vittorio Rinaldi, Lorenzo Pignataro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Saline nasal irrigations (SNIs) are often recommended as an additional non-pharmacological treatment for adults with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), for which it could even be considered a first-line treatment. However, there is a wide range of different SNI protocols. The aim of this article is to review the published literature regarding all of the potential therapeutic effects of SNIs in adult CRS patients who had not undergone sinus surgery and clarify the role of the various saline nasal solutions and protocols (particularly the volume, frequency and duration of treatment), and describe the nasal devices used. A search was made of the PubMed, Google Scholar and Ovid databases using the key words 'saline nasal irrigation' and 'chronic rhinosinusitis', or medical subject headings. The search identified 11 studies involving 663 patients. There was no consensus about but substantial agreement concerning the frequency and duration of treatment, the type of device, and the amount of solution to be used when managing CRS. A hypertonic solution with the addition of the natural minerals and oligo-elements found in seawater and some thermal waters may be associated with greater clinical benefit in terms of endoscopic scores and mucociliary clearance than isotonic solutions. Further studies are required to compare the different forms of SNI and define SNI protocols and nasal devices, while considering patient compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2058738418802676
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • hypertonic solution
  • isotonic solution
  • saline nasal irrigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

Cite this