Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Inferior Turbinate Reduction and Immunotherapy in Allergic Rhinitis.

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The Laryngoscope


allergic rhinitis; cost-effectiveness analysis; cost-utility analysis; inferior turbinate hypertrophy; inferior turbinate reduction; subcutaneous immunotherapy; surgery; california; pni


BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common condition that is frequently associated with atopic inferior turbinate hypertrophy (ITH) resulting in nasal obstruction. Current guidelines support the use of subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT) when patients fail pharmacologic management. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the role of inferior turbinate reduction (ITR), a treatment that we hypothesize is cost-effective compared with other available treatments.

METHODS: We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis comparing the following treatment combinations over a 5-year time horizon for AR patients presenting with atopic nasal obstruction who fail initial pharmacotherapy: (1) continued pharmacotherapy alone, (2) allergy testing and SCIT, (3) allergy testing and SCIT and then ITR for SCIT nonresponders, and (4) ITR and then allergy testing and SCIT for ITR nonresponders. Results were reported as incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs).

RESULTS: For patients who fail initial pharmacotherapy, prioritizing ITR, either by microdebrider-assisting submucous resection or radiofrequency ablation, before SCIT was the most cost-effective strategy. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated that prioritizing ITR before SCIT was the most cost-effective option in 95.4% of scenarios. ITR remained cost-effective even with the addition of concurrent septoplasty.

CONCLUSION: For many AR patients who present with nasal obstruction secondary to atopic inferior turbinate hypertrophy that is persistent despite pharmacotherapy, ITR is a cost-effective treatment that should be considered prior to immunotherapy.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: N/A - Laryngoscope, 2023 Laryngoscope, 2023.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)