Comorbidities in patients with all-positive symptoms on sinonasal outcomes test quality-of-life instrument

Alexander Caten, Christopher Johnson, David Jang, Jose Gurrola, Stilianos Kountakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis The Sinonasal Outcomes Test-20 (SNOT-20) is a validated tool to assess treatment outcomes in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). In the clinic, we observed that patients who responded with a positive score on all 20 items of the SNOT-20 questionnaire (pan-positive patients) often did not have evidence of CRS upon workup. Many of these patients had other underlying diseases contributing to their complaints. Methods Analysis of prospectively collected data was performed to identify SNOT-20 pan-positive patients and compare them to 100 consecutive non-pan-positive patients who served as the control group. The following parameters were compared between the two patient groups: presence or absence of chronic diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, headaches, temporomandibular joint disease, and arthritis - in addition to sinus computed-tomography Lund-McKay scores and nasal endoscopy Lund-Kennedy scores. We also reviewed the medication list of each patient to look for the possible presence of mental illness. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-squared and Student t test. Results One hundred twenty-two pan-positive patients were identified in our database collected from 2003 to 2011. Pan-positive patients had higher incidence of depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety, pain, headache, and use of depression medications - and they also had higher SNOT-20 and endoscopy scores when compared to controls (P < 0.05). Pan-positive patients were more likely female (P < 0.05), but age and race differences did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion The SNOT-20 questionnaire assists clinicians to monitor outcomes in patients treated for CRS. However, clinicians should suspect other underlying chronic conditions in SNOT-20 pan-positive patients. Level of Evidence 3B.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2648-2652
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • anxiety
  • chronic pain
  • comorbidities
  • depression
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • sinonasal outcomes test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Comorbidities in patients with all-positive symptoms on sinonasal outcomes test quality-of-life instrument'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this