The Impact of Surgical Posterior Nasal Nerve Cryoablation on Symptoms and Disease-Specific Quality of Life in Patients With Chronic Rhinitis

Farrukh R. Virani, Machelle D. Wilson, Angela M. Beliveau, Amarbir S. Gill, E. Bradley Strong, Toby O. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Preliminary data have demonstrated long-term efficacy of posterior nasal nerve (PNN) cryoablation in reducing rhinitis symptoms for patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR). We sought to evaluate the impact of procedural cryoablation of the PNN on quality of life (QOL) in patients with AR and NAR. Methods: Adult patients undergoing PNN cryoablation for AR or NAR after appropriate medical therapy were included for analysis. Demographics, medical therapies, baseline rhinitis symptom (total nasal symptom score [TNSS]), and disease-specific QOL (mini-rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire [mini-RQLQ]) were recorded. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test for significant changes in baseline test scores posttreatment. Absolute and relative improvement in outcomes was determined for each participant. Secondary outcomes were assessed with univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Fourteen patients were enrolled with a mean follow-up of 16.5 weeks. The TNSS and mini-RQLQ scores significantly improved after PNN cryoablation (median δs [interquartile range]: −4 [3] and −1.61 [1.08], respectively; both P =.0002). The minimal clinically important difference for the TNSS and mini-RQLQ was obtained in 92.9% of patients in each category. Relative mean percentage (%) improvement after PNN cryoablation in the TNSS and mini-RQLQ was 40.7% and 40.5% (standard deviation = 24.9 and 29.5, respectively), respectively, for all patients. Patients with NAR (n = 10) reported mean improvement of 41.3% (29.1) as measured by the TNSS and 49.6% (25.9) by mini-RQLQ. Patients with AR reported mean percentage improvement in TNSS and mini-RQLQ scores of 39.5% (12.1) and 24.6% (28.5), respectively. Patients who had been prescribed a nasal anticholinergic for management prior to PNN cryoablation had statistically significantly increased improvement in mini-RQLQ scores from pre- to post-procedure (P =.0387). Conclusion: Surgical cryoablation of the PNN significantly improves both symptoms and disease-specific QOL in majority of patients with AR and NAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • allergic rhinitis
  • chronic rhinitis
  • cryoablation
  • mixed rhinitis
  • nonallergic rhinitis
  • posterior nasal nerve
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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