Effects of oxymetazoline on the ventilation of paranasal sinuses in healthy subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Impairment of sinus ostial function is considered an important factor in the pathophysiology of sinus disease. The use of the decongestants such as alpha2-agonists is thought to improve sinus ostial function. Previous studies have shown an effect of alpha2-agonists on maxillary sinus ostial function only when administered in nasal bellows, but not as a nasal spray or nasal drops. The effect of decongestants on ventilation of the frontal and posterior ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses has not been studied to date. Methods: In this study, the 133-xenon washout method was used to determine ventilation for all paranasal sinuses before and after administration of oxymetazoline as nasal drops in eight subjects and from nasal bellows in nine healthy subjects. Results: No significant effect of oxymetazoline on sinus ventilation was seen in either group. Conclusions: The results indicate that alpha2-agonists do not have any effect on sinus ventilation in healthy subjects. However, one cannot exclude that decongestants improve sinus ventilation in patients suffering from sinus disease and this requires further studies.


  • B Paulsson
  • Sven Lindberg
  • P Ohlin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Otorhinolaryngology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch