‘Exhalation’ system improves symptoms for most common form of chronic sinus infections

Penn Medicine researchers report results from two randomized phase III clinical trials.

An exhalation delivery system that uses a patient’s own breath to carry the anti-inflammatory compound fluticasone (EDS-FLU) directly to the sinuses reduced chronic sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms and decreased aggravations and infections associated with chronic inflammation of the sinus by more than 50%, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine report.

Person with sinusitis with a hand to their forehead.
Image: iStock/Pornpak Khunatorn

The randomized, international clinical trials, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, compare EDS-FLU to a placebo in more than 500 adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with or without nasal polyps. Patients used either EDS-FLU or a placebo twice daily for 24 weeks. EDS-FLU works through a patient exhaling into the device to send the medication deep into the far reaches of their sinus cavities, where the topical medication is most effective. Compared to a placebo, sinus symptom scores and CT scan results were significantly improved. Symptoms of nasal congestion, nasal discharge, facial pain/pressure, and loss of smell improved dramatically with EDS-FLU compared to placebo, as measured by the sinonasal outcome test-22, a standardized scoring measure for sinonasal symptoms.

“Chronic sinusitis affects as much of 10% of the United States population, and can make breathing uncomfortable and negatively impact a person’s daily life,” says lead author James N. Palmer, the David W. Kennedy, MD Endowed Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and director of Rhinology at Penn Medicine. “These findings provide strong evidence for an effective, non-invasive treatment option for people who continue to experience symptoms after over-the-counter medications have failed.”

Read more at Penn Medicine News.