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Prediction of outcome of radiofrequency ablation of the inferior turbinates


  • Potential conflict of interest: None provided.



Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the turbinates is used commonly for nasal obstruction; however, there is no consensus on patient selection for this surgery.


In a prospective clinical study, 53 adult subjects with bilateral turbinate hypertrophy were evaluated subjectively and objectively with anterior rhinomanometry at baseline and at 1, 3, and 6 months post-RFA of turbinates.


RFA of the turbinates resulted in a significant decrease in predecongestant and postdecongestant visual analogue scale (VAS) scores and resistance measurements at postoperative months 1, 3, and 6 (p < 0.001 for all). Preoperative baseline subjective response to the decongestant showed a positive correlation with postoperative first month subjective and objective outcome (p < 0.05). Preoperative baseline objective response to the decongestant showed a highly significant correlation with postoperative 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month objective outcomes of surgery (p < 0.05 for all).


Objective measures do not correlate with long-term subjective satisfaction even when the nose is objectively patent in subjects who underwent inferior turbinate RFA. The patients’ long-term subjective benefit from RFA surgery cannot be estimated after a rhinomanometry with topical decongestion is performed. Performing a rhinomanometry with topical decongestion may help only to estimate the patients’ objective benefit from RFA surgery.