A preliminary report on the effect of gabapentin pretreatment on periprocedural pain during in-office posterior nasal nerve cryoablation

Toby O. Steele, Steven G. Hoshal, Minji Kim, Amarbir S. Gill, Machelle Wilson, Lane D. Squires, E. Bradley Strong, Jeffrey D. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Posterior nasal nerve (PNN) cryoablation is a novel surgical technique to address allergic and nonallergic rhinitis. Periprocedural pain has been reported after PNN cryoablation and there are no standardized protocols for optimal in-office local anesthesia. This study sought to evaluate the effect of gabapentin on patient discomfort following in-office PNN cryoablation. Methods: Multi-institutional prospective analysis of patients undergoing in-office PNN cryoablation for allergic or nonallergic rhinitis between March 2018 and April 2019. Patients received local anesthesia with or without 600 mg oral gabapentin 1 hour preprocedure. Rhinitis diagnosis, demographics, and baseline disease-specific quality of life (mini-Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire [RQLQ] and Total Nasal Symptom Score [TNSS]) were recorded. Patient discomfort was measured by the pain visual analogue scale (VAS) posttreatment and rated 0 to 10 on an ordinal scale. Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon 2-sample tests were used to evaluate differences between the 2 groups. Results: A total of 26 patients were enrolled (gabapentin n = 15, control = 11). Baseline TNSS scores in the gabapentin vs control group were median [25th percentile to 75th percentile]) 10 (7.5 to 11.0) and 9 (6.0 to 10.0) (p = 0.35). Baseline Mini-RQLQ scores in gabapentin vs control groups were 3.21 (2.0 to 4.0) and 2.92 (2.78 to 4.35) (p = 0.51). The median VAS pain scores at 5, 20, and 30 minutes in the gabapentin vs control group were 0.0 (0.0 to 2.0) vs 3.0 (1.0 to 4.0), 2.0 (0.0 to 3.0) vs 8.0 (6.0 to 10.0), and 1.0 (0.0 to 1.0) vs 5.0 (4.0 to 6.0) (p = 0.02, p = 0.0043, and p = 0.003, respectively). Conclusion: Preprocedure gabapentin significantly reduces immediate and delayed postprocedural patient discomfort following PNN cryoablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • ClariFix
  • cryoablation
  • gabapentin
  • posterior nasal nerve
  • rhinitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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