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Chronic Rhinosinusitis Often Misdiagnosed

Many patients with allergic or non-allergic rhinitis, or reflux-linked laryngitis, mistaken for chronic rhinosinusitis

TUESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Many conditions masquerade as chronic rhinosinusitis, including allergic rhinitis and reflux-associated laryngitis, which often leads to a large number of misdiagnoses, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Melissa A. Pynnonen, M.D., and Jeffrey E. Terrell, M.D., from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, retrospectively examined the medical records of 186 consecutive patients referred to a tertiary care rhinology clinic to identify conditions that are commonly mistaken for chronic rhinosinusitis.

The researchers found that 40 percent of patients referred to the clinic did not have chronic rhinosinusitis, but rather, had conditions ranging from allergic rhinitis, laryngitis associated with reflux, head or facial pain, and non-allergic rhinitis.

The reason chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms are hard to evaluate is because they are non-specific and because there is no widely accepted "gold standard," the authors note. A raised awareness of the common medical disorders that mimic chronic rhinosinusitis "may improve diagnostic accuracy in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis-like symptoms," they add.

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