Enhanced Irrigant Delivery to the Ethmoid Sinuses Directly Following Ethmoid Punch Sinusotomy

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Objectives:Ethmoid punch sinusotomy (EPS) is a feasible treatment for ethmoid sinusitis in a subset of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) patients per a recent report. This adjunctive work investigates the technical characteristics of EPS and determines if EPS measurably alters the topical delivery of irrigant into the ethmoid sinuses in a cadaveric model.Methods:The sinonasal cavities of 10 human cadaver heads were irrigated with a solution containing methylene blue and radio-opaque contrast prior to and following EPS. Procedural characteristics and irrigant distribution were assessed by endoscopy and computed tomography.Results:Forty EPS procedures were performed through the ethmoid bulla and basal lamella. Compared to controls, EPS enhanced dye distribution into the anterior (90% vs 35%, P < .004) and posterior (90% vs 35%, P < .002) ethmoid sinuses, representing a 157% increase for each of these sites. Contrast was detected in a higher proportion of anterior (65% vs 5%, P < .001) and posterior (60% vs 0%, P < .001) ethmoid sinuses. Endoscopically guided catheter instillation of contrast through the EPS sites achieved radiotracer distribution throughout the ethmoid complex.Conclusions:Ethmoid punch sinusotomy sites can be reliably created via micro-minimally invasive procedures. Ethmoid punch sinusotomy improves irrigant delivery to the ethmoid sinuses, providing mechanistic understanding for the clinical outcomes observed in CRS patients.

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