The effect of endoscopic olfactory cleft polyp removal on olfaction

Arjuna B. Kuperan, Seth M. Lieberman, Deya N. Jourdy, Mohammad H. Al-Bar, Bradley J. Goldstein, Roy R. Casiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of olfactory cleft polyps in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis is well documented, but the effect of endoscopic olfactory cleft polyp surgery on olfaction, versus observation, has not been well studied. This analysis assessed if microdebridement of olfactory cleft polyps yields significant objective smell improvements in those with anosmia or hyposmia. Methods: A randomized prospective single-blinded study was performed on patients undergoing bilateral endoscopic sinus surgery with profound bilateral nasal polyposis, excluding those younger than 18 years or without olfactory polyps. A preoperative University of Pennsylvan Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), visual analog scale (VAS), and sinonasal outcomes 20 score (SNOT-20), and a follow-up at 6 months was performed. Two cohorts were created, including one with cleft polyp removal (group A) and one with cleft polyps left in place (group B). Results: There were 10 patients in group A and 7 in group B. By using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, the two group ere individually analyzed for changes in the preoperative UPSIT, VAS, and SNOT-20 versus the 6-month test results. In group A, the improvement in the UPSIT, VAS, and SNOT-20 were statistically significant at p < 0.05. For group B only the improvement in the VAS was statistically significant, at p < 0.05. There was a statistically significant difference in clinical smell improvement between group A and B at 6 months (p = 0.00512). Conclusions: Evidence exists that olfactory cleft polyp surgery improves olfactory function outcomes. Lo term data beyond 6 months is needed to further validate these early promising outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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