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Correlation between symptoms and objective findings may improve the symptom-based diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis for primary care and epidemiological studies
  1. Do-Yang Park1,2,
  2. Eun Jung Lee3,
  3. Ji Hoon Kim3,
  4. Yoo Suk Kim4,
  5. Chan Min Jung3,
  6. Kyung-Su Kim3
  1. 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  4. 4Department of Otolaryngology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kyung-Su Kim; ydrhinol{at}


Background In primary care and epidemiological studies of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), symptom-based diagnosis is common, yet limited, because endoscopic and radiological signs are not considered.

Objectives To evaluate the correlation between symptoms and objective findings of CRS to improve its symptom-based diagnosis for primary care and epidemiological studies by using data from a large-scale nationwide epidemiological study, the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting Data from 2008 to 2012 KNHANES.

Participants 29 225 Adults aged >19 years.

Outcome measures Questionnaires targeted two major (nasal blockage and anterior/posterior nasal drip) and two minor (facial pain/pressure and reduction or loss of smell) symptoms. Nasal polyps or mucopurulent discharge from the middle meatus was defined as positive endoscopic findings for diagnosing CRS.

Results Of the four symptoms, reduction or loss of smell was the symptom most significantly related to positive endoscopic findings in multivariable analysis (OR=1.936 (95% CI 1.604 to 2.337)). The combinations of symptoms showed higher ORs than individual symptoms and combinations of reduction or loss of smell with other symptoms were statistically more reliable for positive endoscopic findings than other combinations.

Conclusions Our results show that reduction or loss of smell was the symptom most significantly related to positive nasal endoscopic findings. Therefore, symptom-based diagnosis of CRS can be improved by considering reduction or loss of smell as an important symptom for positive endoscopic findings of CRS.


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