Objectives: To conduct the first prospective, randomized, controlled trial evaluating and comparing the medical and surgical treatment of polypoid and nonpolypoid chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
Materials and Methods: Ninety patients with CRS were equally randomized either to medical or surgical therapy. All patients underwent pre- and posttreatment assessments of visual analogue score (VAS), the Sinonasal Outcome Test-20 (SNOT-20), the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), nitric oxide (NO), acoustic rhinometry, saccharine clearance time (SCT), and nasal endoscopy. Each patient had three assessments: before starting the treatment, after 6 months, and, finally, after 1 year.
Results: Both the medical and surgical treatment of CRS significantly improved almost all the subjective and objective parameters of CRS (P < .01), with no significant difference being found between the medical and surgical groups (P > .05), except for the total nasal volume in CRS (P < .01) and CRS without polyposis (P < .01) groups, in which the surgical treatment demonstrated greater changes.
Conclusion: CRS should be initially targeted with maximal medical therapy (e.g., a 3 month course of a macrolide antibiotic, douche, and topical steroid), with surgical treatment being reserved for cases refractory to medical therapy. The presence of nasal polyps is not a poor prognostic factor for the efficacy of CRS therapy, either surgical or medical.