Objective: To compare the effect of two saline nasal sprays on nasal patency and mucociliary clearance in patients with rhinosinusitis. Study Design: Randomized double-blind trial. Subjects and Methods: Eighty patients with rhinosinusitis at a tertiary care academic center had nasal patency and mucociliary clearance measured. Each patient was then treated with either physiological or hypertonic saline. Nasal patency and mucociliary clearance measurements were repeated after treatment. Subjective evaluation was also performed. Results: Both solutions improved saccharine clearance times (P < 0.0001). Buffered physiological saline significantly affected nasal airway patency (P = 0.006). Both solutions improved symptoms of nasal stuffiness (P < 0.0001) and nasal obstruction (P < 0.0001). Buffered hypertonic saline caused increased nasal burning/irritation compared with buffered physiological saline (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Buffered physiological and buffered hypertonic saline nasal sprays both improve mucociliary clearance, which is beneficial for treatment of rhinosinusitis. Additionally, buffered physiological saline improves nasal airway patency, whereas buffered hypertonic saline has no effect. Both solutions provide symptomatic relief, but buffered hypertonic saline is more irritating.
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