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Contamination of sinus irrigation devices: A review of the evidence and clinical relevance

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Background:

The use of saline and topical medications in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is now common practice among otolaryngologists. Although high-level studies have consistently shown the benefit of saline in symptom improvement of CRS patients, to date, only lower-level evidence exists advocating a benefit of other topical medications.

Methods:

Recently, increased interest has emerged surrounding the devices used to deliver such therapies with mounting evidence consistently showing contamination with pathogenic organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Results:

In addition, the potential for such contamination to cross-infect sinus cavities and lead to postoperative infections is also of concern.

Conclusion:

This review examines the current evidence available concerning the issue of contamination and its clinical relevance and offers the otolaryngologist advice on patient education when dispensing such devices.
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Keywords: Chronic rhinosinusitis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Staphylococcus aureus; contamination; nasal irrigation; postoperative infection

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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