Chronic rhinosinusitis as a risk factor for intracranial and extracranial complications after endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery

Jake J. Lee, Brian C. Deutsch, Dorina Kallogjeri, Patrik Pipkorn, John S. Schneider, Cristine N. Klatt-Cromwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To elucidate whether chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), usually an inflammatory-mediated rather than infectious process, is a risk factor for extracranial and intracranial complications after elective endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS). Materials and methods: A single-center retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients who underwent ETSS between January 2015 and July 2019 was performed, which included chart review and computed tomography assessment. CRS was defined by symptomatology and concurrent endoscopic or radiographic findings. Results: Of 292 subjects, 11% (n = 33) met criteria for CRS. Median difference in Lund-Mackay scores between the CRS and non-CRS groups was 3.0 (95% CI 2.0–4.0). Complications included acute rhinosinusitis requiring antibiotics (23%, 68/292), epistaxis (10%, 28/292), meningitis (1%, 3/292), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak (7%, 20/292), revision sinonasal procedures (10%, 28/292), and frequent in-office debridement (13%, 39/292). CRS was strongly associated with postoperative acute rhinosinusitis (aRR 1.85, 95% CI 1.18–2.90) and frequent debridement (aRR 1.96, 95% CI 1.00–3.83). Conversely, CRS was not associated with epistaxis (aRR 1.52, 95% CI 0.62–3.72), postoperative CSF leak (aRR 0.91, 95% CI 0.24–3.44), or additional sinonasal procedures (aRR 0.70, 95% CI 0.21–2.29). The rate of meningitis was not significantly higher in the CRS cohort (difference 2.2%, 95% CI -1.0% to 14.5%). Conclusions: CRS was a strong risk factor for acute rhinosinusitis and need for frequent in-office debridement after ETSS. It was not associated with other postoperative complications including epistaxis, CSF leak, or revision sinonasal procedures. CRS patients had a slightly higher rate of meningitis, which is likely not clinically meaningful.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103188
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Anterior skull base
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Complications
  • Endoscopic endonasal
  • Endoscopic skull base surgery
  • Infection
  • Pituitary
  • Transsphenoidal


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