Postoperative care with Chinese herbal medicine or amoxicillin after functional endoscopic sinus surgery: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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A number of herbal preparations have been reported being used as adjunctive treatment of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) after functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). This study was designed to examine the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the postoperative care of post-FESS patients.


Patients with CRS who underwent FESS were prospectively enrolled in the study. Before surgery, they were evaluated by various methods, including the Chinese version of the Rhinosinusitis Outcome Measure (CRSOM-31), nasal endoscopy, acoustic rhinometry, and computed tomography (CT). After surgery, they were randomized to take CHM (Tsang-Erh-San extract granules and Houttuynia extract powder) for 8 weeks, amoxicillin for 4 weeks, or placebo. They were revaluated by CRSOM-31, nasal endoscopy, and acoustic rhinometry at 8 weeks and by CT at 12 weeks after surgery.


Ninety-seven patients (33 in the CHM group, 34 in the amoxicillin group, and 30 in the placebo group) completed the study. In the CHM group, CRSOM-31 and endoscopic scores significantly decreased, and the second minimal cross-sectional area of the nasal cavity measured by acoustic rhinometry significantly increased after treatment. In the amoxicillin and placebo groups, CRSOM-31, endoscopic, and CT scores significantly decreased after treatment. However, there were no significant differences in subjective and objective treatment outcomes among three groups of patients.


Our results showed there was no significant benefit of using CHMs (Tsang-Erh-San extract granules and Houttuynia extract powder) or oral amoxicillin in post-FESS care of CRS patients. Additional investigation is necessary for post-FESS care.

Keywords: Acoustic rhinometry; Chinese herbal medicine; amoxicillin; chronic rhinosinusitis; computed tomography; functional endoscopic sinus surgery; postoperative care; prospective studies; randomized controlled trial; treatment outcome

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, is a peer reviewed, scientific publication committed to expanding knowledge and publishing the best clinical and basic research within the fields of Rhinology & Allergy. Its focus is to publish information which contributes to improved quality of care for patients with nasal and sinus disorders. Its primary readership consists of otolaryngologists, allergists, and plastic surgeons. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    Previously published as American Journal of Rhinology, the journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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