Quality of Life

Objective Assessment

Even though relief in subjective symptoms of patients is important, an objective measurement of nasal physiology should be performed. Applying an objective assessment of pre- and postoperative nasal septal and nasal cavity physiology provides an opportunity to compare the physiologic results of various surgical procedures and can lead to the identification of the ideal method. Rhinomanometry (RMM) tests nasal airway resistance by measuring nasal airflow and the pressure produced by nasal airflow. 6 RMM has been used for the evaluation of various nasal surgical techniques. 7 Studies based on computational fluid dynamic simulations were able to show airflow patterns, temperature, and humidity distribution in nose models of healthy noses. In nose models with septal perforation, several pathological conditions could be shown. Disturbed airflow patterns mainly in the area of the posterior margin of the septal perforation are responsible for the crusting in this region. Huge vortices cause subjective nasal obstruction in patients with septal perforation. NSPs are frequently located in the anterior caudal cartilaginous part of the septum after previous surgery and cause more symptoms than the NSPs, which are located more in the cranial or more in the posterior portion. 8

In fact, most of the symptomatic NSPs are in the anterior portion of the septum, whereas posterior septal defects can be asymptomatic. Knowledge regarding the temperature and humidity profile within septal perforation is scarce. Lindemann et al performed two in vivo studies to investigate these parameters comparing healthy volunteers and patients with NSP as well as before and after surgical closure of NSP. They observed a significantly reduced increase in humidity in patients with NSP compared to the healthy volunteers. The patients with NSP suffered significantly more from nasal dryness. Postoperatively, the increase in temperature and humidity was significantly higher than preoperatively. 9

Olfaction has an important role in the human interaction with the environment, and changes in olfaction abilities due to NSP can lead to a significant decrease in quality of life. The surgical repair of nasal septal perforation is known to improve nasal respiratory airflow, which seems to be beneficial to the patient’s olfactory abilities. However, there are only limited data on the effect of nasal septal perforation closure on olfaction, and most studies reported contradictory results. 10,​ 11,​ 12 In a recent study, Altun and Hanci reported a statistically significant improvement in olfactory function determined by using the Sniffin’ Sticks on the short- and long-term olfactory abilities of 42 patients with NSP after surgical repair. 13

22.2 Subjective Assessment

There are a limited number of studies referring to symptom control in patients with NSP who receive surgical treatments. 4

Subjective clinical evaluations following nasal surgery can be assessed with different scoring charts. Currently, there are several validated assessments for general quality of life as well as for sinonasal conditions. 14,​ 15,​ 16,​ 17 The Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) is one of the most highly used scoring systems. 14

Ozturk et al showed a correlation between the symptom control, evaluated by NOSE, and improvements in nasal physiology, confirmed by rhinomanometric measurements. 18 There are also special assessments for sinonasal complaints; among them are the “Nasal Symptom Questionnaire’, ‘Rhino-Sinusitis Disability Index’, “General Nasal Patient Inventory,” ‘Rhinosinusitis Quality of Life Survey,” and “Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20.” 15,​ 16,​ 17,​ 19,​ 20,​ 21

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Nov 27, 2018 | Posted by in OTOLARYNGOLOGY | Comments Off on Quality of Life
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