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New method to diagnose sinusitis could reduce use of antibiotics
Date:10/6/2011

A new method of diagnosing sinusitis is presented in a new thesis from Lund University. The results offer the potential to reduce the use of antibiotics and the costs of the disease to society.

Sinusitis is a very common disease and exists in both an acute and a chronic form. In Europe, over nine per cent of the population suffers from chronic sinusitis.

The author of the thesis is Pernilla Sahlstrand Johnson, a PhD student and ear, nose and throat doctor at Lund University and Skne University Hospital. In the work on the thesis, she and her colleagues at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University tested and evaluated a new method to better diagnose sinusitis. The method employs a Doppler ultrasound sensor, which, unlike a normal ultrasound or CT scan, can determine the viscosity of the sinus fluid. Until now, the only way to find this out for certain has been by flushing out the maxillary sinuses, which is an unpleasant procedure for the patient.

Only patients with thick sinus fluid are considered to need antibiotics, while for those with thin fluid there are other effective treatment options.

"Antibiotic resistance is seen as a growing problem. One in four people in Sweden takes antibiotics at least once a year, and many of these have been diagnosed with sinusitis. A more accurate diagnosis could reduce the amount of antibiotics prescribed and the right treatment could also reduce costs", says Pernilla Sahlstrand Johnson. "We have used the new method in the laboratory with good results. We are planning to trial the Doppler ultrasound sensor in a clinical environment soon, on a number of patients at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Skne University Hospital in Malm and Lund."

Pernilla Sahlstrand Johnson has also studied the self-perceived quality of life of a group of just over 200 patients awaiting sinus surgery. As well as the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinics in Skne, patients at Karolinska and Sahlgrenska Uni
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Contact: Pernilla Sahlstrand Johnson
pernilla.sahltrand_johnson@med.lu.se
46-733-369-554
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

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