Topical antibiotic therapy in chronic rhinosinusitis: an update

Daniel A. Carlton, D. David Beahm, Alexander G Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Topical antibiotic therapies have been investigated for their use in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). However, society guidelines and evidence-based medicine reviews have recommended against the use of topical antibiotic therapy based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The purpose of this article is to review recent clinical research published since the aforementioned guidelines were published. Methods: A structured literature review was performed on clinical studies published in the last 5 years investigating the use of topical antibiotic therapies. Results: One double-blinded, randomized controlled trial (DB-RCT) supported the use of tobramycin using a vibrating aerosolizer; 1 non-blinded non-randomized controlled prospective trial lent support to use of topical ofloxacin for its anti-biofilm properties; and 1 meta-analysis found mupirocin irrigations to be beneficial in the short term. One Cochrane Review was unable to make a recommendation as no trial met the inclusion criteria. An additional systematic review found limited evidence to support the use of topical antibiotics with the exception of mupirocin irrigations that may be considered in Staphylococcus aureus infections. Two retrospective studies found that topical antibiotics change bacterial cultures of the sinuses. Conclusion: There is additional evidence to support continuing investigation of topical antibiotic therapies. Further, larger RCTs are required to establish the efficacy of topical antibiotic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S27-S31
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Biofilm
  • Chronic Rhinosinustis
  • Topical Therapy for Chronic Rhinosinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Topical antibiotic therapy in chronic rhinosinusitis: an update'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this