Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from AACI and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting 2010

Open Access Open Badges Poster presentation

The utility of using fiberoptic endoscopy in the diagnosis of nasal polyps

Ruth Ko1*, M Cottrill2 and HK Kim23

Author Affiliations

1 University of Waterloo, Canada

2 University of Western Ontario, Canada

3 McMaster University, Canada

For all author emails, please log on.

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2010, 6(Suppl 2):P13  doi:10.1186/1710-1492-6-S2-P13

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:4 November 2010

© 2010 Ko et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Nasal examination is important in assessing patients with rhinitis. Most allergists examine the nose using an otoscope (OT). Most do not perform fiberoptic rhinoscopy (FR). The purpose of this study is to determine the sensitivity for identifying nasal polyps (NP) with OT examination using FR findings as the gold standard.

Materials and methods

This study was performed in a referral allergist’s practice in Ontario. In a prospective study, all patients with rhinitis symptoms had OT examination and FR. Patients who had NP identified with FR were included in the study. The findings of the OT examination were compared to the FR findings. Other data collected included allergy skin test results, presence of asthma, aspirin allergy, previous nasal surgeries, intranasal corticosteroid (INS) use and leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) use.


Eighty six patients were identified to have NP with FR. Forty nine patients (57%) had NP identified by OT examination. Forty (47%) of patients with NP had positive skin tests for at least one aeroallergen. Fifty-nine (68%) had asthma, 13 (15%) had an ASA allergy and 10 (12%) had both conditions. Forty-eight (56%) were using an INS and 9 (10%) were on LTRA. Thirty-four (40%) had previous surgery.


The OT examination had a 57% sensitivity. Therefore, in this study, 43% of patients with nasal polyps would have had their nasal polyps missed if FR was not performed.