Dose-dependent effects of topical tobramycin in an animal model of Pseudomonas sinusitis

Marcelo B. Antunes, Michael D. Feldman, Noam A. Cohen, Alexander G. Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Topical antimicrobials are commonly used to treat Pseudomonas sinusitis after endoscopic sinus surgery. Despite their popularity, there is limited data in the literature to support its use. This study is the first to examine the effects of topical tobramycin in an animal model of Pseudomonas sinusitis. Methods: Pseudomonas aeruginosa sinusitis was induced in the maxillary sinus of New Zealand white rabbits. Study groups received various concentrations of topical tobramycin instilled through a single lumen catheter embedded within the maxillary sinus for 7 consecutive days. A control group received normal saline irrigation. Bacterial counts were measured from the nasal lavage after irrigation. The sinonasal complex was analyzed and a histological grading system was used to score the degree of infection at study end. Results: Nasal lavage bacterial counts of the saline control group remained persistently elevated throughout the study. Introduction of increasing concentrations of topical tobramycin caused the bacterial counts to fall to zero by study end. There was a dose-dependent histological response in which increasing concentrations of tobramycin led to a marked reduction but not total elimination of inflammation within the mucosa and underlying bone. Conclusion: As opposed to normal saline irrigations, topical tobramycin led to a significant improvement in the degree of infection within an animal model of P. aeruginosa sinusitis. Despite the elimination of bacteria within the nasal lavage, there was a suggestion of a residual indolent infection as evidenced by persistent inflammation within the mucosa and underlying bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-427
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Animal model
  • Antibiotics
  • Histology
  • Pseudomonas
  • Sinusitis
  • Tobramycin
  • Topical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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