The effect of saline solutions on nasal patency and mucociliary clearance in rhinosinusitis patients

Garrett Hauptman, Matthew W. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-821
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of saline solutions on nasal patency and mucociliary clearance in rhinosinusitis patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this