Every year, over 3 million people are diagnosed with nasal polyps. These polys develop in the nasal passages and sinuses and cause postnasal drip, persistent runny nose and stuffiness, and facial pain.
While not usually harmful, nasal polyps cause annoying symptoms and sometimes require surgery. Even after surgery, these polyps may return.
A study conducted by the Capital Medical University Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology, and the Capital Medical University found that the use of CT scans helped to predict the recurrence of nasal polyps.
A group of 272 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRS) who were undergoing surgery for nasal polyp removal were used in the study. The patient’s scans were scored by radiologists who studied the maxillary sinus score (M score) and total ethmoid sinus score (E score) of both sides of the sinuses. These scores were used to calculate an E/M ratio, or the ratio of the E score to the M score.
230 patients remained in the study after an average follow-up time of 24 months post surgery. Out of those patients 51.3% had recurring CRS. Study authors found that the patients with reoccurring CRS had several common characteristics including E/M ratio, tissue eosinophil percentage, and tissue eosinophil absolute count.
Eosinophils are a disease-fighting white blood cell. Higher levels indicate parasitic infection, an allergic reaction or cancer. E/M ratio and tissue eosinophil percentage showed high accuracy as predictors of recurrence of CRS.
Tissue eosinophil percentage was found to be a good predictor of CRS recurrence, the procedure performed to obtain nasal tissue is invasive, presents a risk of bleeding for some patients, and is often inconvenient to perform in outpatient settings.
The study found that with CT scans, the ability to predict the recurrence of CRS with nasal polyps eliminates the need for invasive procedures.