Nasal and instrument preparation prior to rigid and flexible nasendoscopy: a systematic review

P C Nankivell, D D Pothier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Examination of the upper aerodigestive tract is an important part of ENT practice. The use of both flexible and rigid nasendoscopes is the most common way of achieving this in the out-patient setting. However, these procedures can cause pain or discomfort for the patient, and topical preparations have been used in an attempt to reduce this.

OBJECTIVES: The variability in current practice amongst those performing nasendoscopy may suggest an uncertainty as to what constitutes best practice for this procedure. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken in an attempt to clarify this.

METHODS: A literature search of the Cochrane ENT group trials register, the Cochrane central register of controlled trials (CENTRAL), CINAHL (1982-2007), MEDLINE (1950-2007) and EMBASE (1974-2007) was performed. Reference lists of selected studies were scanned for additional research material.

RESULTS: Eighteen studies relevant to this review were identified. The evidence suggests that local anaesthetic is not beneficial when performing flexible nasendoscopy, neither alone nor in combination with a vasoconstrictor. Water is better than lubricant for flexible endoscope passage and gives a superior optical outcome. Further research is required on the use of endosheaths for flexible and rigid nasendoscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-8
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of laryngology and otology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Nasal Cavity
  • Nose
  • Pain
  • Pain Measurement
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents


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