Characteristics of the Guidelines
Considerable practice variations exist among the physicians who treat sinusitis, and although there is no one absolutely correct way to proceed, some practices are better and more effective than others, said Dr. Rosenfeld. Therefore, the guidelines consist of 17 evidence-based statements with associated levels of statement strength-for example, strong recommendation, recommendation, recommendation against, or optional.
The guidelines are targeted toward patients aged 18 or older with a clinical diagnosis of uncomplicated rhinosinusitis. Rhinosinusitis is defined as symptomatic inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. The term rhinosinusitis is preferred because sinusitis is almost always accompanied by inflammation of the contiguous nasal mucosa. When the ailment is called uncomplicated it means that there is no inflammation outside the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity at the time of diagnosis.
Rhinosinusitis can be further classified by duration as acute (less than 4 weeks), subacute (4 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks, with or without acute exacerbation).