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Rhinologic symptoms and quality-of-life in patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome vasculitis

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Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the presentation pattern, sinonasal symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) vasculitis.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed. Twenty-five patients with CSS belonging to a patient self-help group participated. Main outcome measures included mode of initial presentation, treatment, rhinologic symptoms, and disease-specific QOL (Sinonasal Outcome Test [SNOT-22] scores) and comparisons were made with general rhinosinusitis and other nasally affected vasculitis patients (Wegener's granulomatosis [WG]).

Results: Overall, 80% of CSS patients had active sinonasal symptoms at the time of the study. Twenty-eight percent of CSS patients reported worsening of their nasal symptoms as the main event leading to their diagnosis. Forty-eight percent of CSS patients had undergone nasal surgery. Nasal symptoms that are of particular relevance to this patient group are nasal obstruction (95%), rhinorrhea (95%), anosmia (90%), and excessive sneezing (80%). Other symptoms included nasal crusting (75%), purulent nasal discharge (65%), and epistaxis (60%). SNOT-22 scores were significantly higher than normal, reaching average values similar to those of patients from the general rhinosinusitis population.

Conclusion: Sinonasal symptoms are common at initial presentation of CSS, emphasizing the role of otolaryngologists in its diagnosis. Overall, CSS-related sinonasal morbidity is significant and comparable with that of the general rhinosinusitis population. It predominantly results from symptoms of allergic rhinitis, but a significant proportion of CSS patients also report milder forms of crusting, epistaxis, and of purulent sinusitis, symptoms which are more commonly attributed to patients with WG.
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Keywords: Churg-Strauss syndrome; diagnosis; nasal polyps; quality of life; rhinosinusitis; symptoms; vasculitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom, 2: Royal National Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital, London, United Kingdom, and 3: Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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