OBJECTIVE: In 1997, the Task Force on Rhinosinusitis (TFR) set forth symptom-based diagnostic guidelines for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). In the present study, we examined radiologic correlates of the TFR diagnostic criteria for rhinosinusitis. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: One hundred twenty-five consecutive patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) scans of the sinuses were studied at Oregon Health and Science University. Patients were evaluated prospectively with a questionnaire based on the TFR criteria, and their CT scans were graded according to the Lund-Mackay scoring system. RESULTS: Of the 125 patients, 115 met the symptom criteria for CRS. However, 40 of 115 had negative scans (Lund-McKay score, 0) despite meeting the diagnostic criteria for rhinosinusitis. Of 115, 75 had positive scans (Lund-McKay score, >1). Of the 10 patients who had negative diagnoses for rhinosinusitis, 9 had a positive CT scan. The Kappa coefficient was -0.103 (±95% confidence interval, -0.201 to -0.004), indicating poor agreement between CRS positivity and CT positivity. The sensitivity of TFR criteria for detecting a positive scan was 89%, but the specificity was poor at only 2%. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: Based on these pilot data, it appears that the specificity and predictive value of the current TFR criteria may not be adequate to serve as a diagnostic standard for rhinosinusitis. Additional validating data may provide guidance for improving the sensitivity and specificity of symptom-based diagnostic instruments for rhinosinusitis.
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