Clinical factors associated with bacterial biofilm formation in chronic rhinosinusitis

Zi Zhang, Jennifer M. Kofonow, Brian S. Finkelman, Laurel Doghramji, Alexander G. Chiu, David W. Kennedy, Noam A. Cohen, James N. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives. Bacterial biofilms appear to contribute to chronic rhinosinusitis. However, the mechanism behind biofilm formation in chronic rhinosinusitis remains poorly defined. The aim of this study is to evaluate clinical factors that may be associated with bacterial biofilm formation in chronic rhinosinusitis. Study Design. Cross-sectional study. Setting. Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Subjects and Methods. Five hundred eighteen patients with chronic rhinosinusitis were enrolled from 2007 to 2010. Samples were taken to evaluate for biofilm formation in vitro using a modified Calgary Biofilm Detection Assay. Clinical data were collected from chart review. Pearson's χ 2 and logistic regression were used for the analyses. Results. Of the patients, 108 (20.9%) showed biofilm formation in vitro. Bacterial biofilm formation in vitro was not significantly associated with polyps, allergy, Samter's triad, sleep apnea, smoking status, age, or gender. However, it was significantly associated with positive culture results (odds ratio [OR] = 3.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.85-5.29; P < .001), prior sinus surgeries (1.93; 1.01-3.69; P = .046), and nasal steroid use in the month prior to sample collection (2.09; 1.07-4.08; P = .030). Polymicrobial cultures, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus comprised most of the samples. Conclusion. The results of this study suggest that the probability of bacterial biofilm formation is independent of many clinical factors considered to be risk factors for chronic rhinosinusitis. Further studies are needed to clarify the nature of the associations between prior sinus surgeries, nasal steroid use, and biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Bacteria
  • Biofilm
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Clinical factor
  • Nasal steroids
  • Prior sinus surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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