European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 275, Issue 4, pp 923–929 | Cite as

Radiological comparison of inferior turbinate hypertrophy between allergic and non-allergic rhinitis: does allergy really augment turbinate hypertrophy?

  • Salma Saud Al Sharhan
  • Eun Jung Lee
  • Chi Sang Hwang
  • Jae Sung Nam
  • Joo-Heon Yoon
  • Chang-Hoon Kim
  • Hyung-Ju ChoEmail author



Inferior turbinate hypertrophy could be a result of allergic rhinitis (AR) that leads to nasal congestion and nasal airway obstruction, which is the most bothersome complaint in patients with AR. However, evidence regarding whether patients with AR have a more hypertrophied inferior turbinate than do patients with non-AR is lacking.


We aimed to evaluate the degree of inferior turbinate hypertrophy according to the presence of AR using radiological measurements of the inferior turbinate.


For evaluating the inferior turbinate, which contributes to nasal obstruction in patients with AR, we enrolled 90 adult patients with septal deviation and divided them into two groups (AR group: n = 49; non-AR group: n = 41). Allergic rhinitis was diagnosed according to the presence of an allergic history, positive multiple allergen simultaneous test, and serological total immunoglobulin E level (≥ 100 kU/L). We analyzed the minimal cross-sectional area on acoustic rhinometry for both groups. The bilateral total width as well as medial mucosa and nasal cavity space in the anterior and posterior portions of the inferior turbinate were measured using computed tomography.


We could not find any significant differences in the anterior and posterior dimensions of the inferior turbinate, intranasal space, and choanal spaces between the AR and non-AR groups. Instead, the anterior part of the inferior turbinate in both the groups showed significant differences between the deviated and contralateral sides. The contralateral side had a larger width than did the deviated side, but no significant difference was noted in the posterior portion of the inferior turbinate.


The degree of inferior turbinate hypertrophy showed no difference between patients with and without AR. Therefore, we suggest that surgical treatment for reducing the size of the inferior turbinate hypertrophy should be considered when performing septoplasty in patients with symptoms of nasal obstruction, regardless of the presence of AR.


Allergy Inferior turbinate Multiple allergen simultaneous test IgE level Radiology Nasal obstruction Septoplasty Turbinoplasty 



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2015R1D1A1A02062156) to H.J. Cho.

Author contributions

Salma Saud Al Sharhan and Lee EJ: study concept and design; drafting of manuscript; manuscript revision. Hwang CS and Nam JS: acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data; Yoon J-H and Kim C-H: revision of manuscript, approval of final version of manuscript to be published; Cho H-J: study concept and design; revision of manuscript; interpretation of data; approval of the final version of the manuscript to be published.


This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2015R1D1A1A02062156) to H.J. Cho.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was obtained from the institutional review board (IRB) of Severance Hospital.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients prior to their enrollment (4-2017-0645).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyImam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University and King Fahd HospitalDammamSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.The Airway Mucus Institute, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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