Posterior Nasal Nerve Ablation as a Viable Treatment Option for the Primary Symptom of Postnasal Drip

Aatin K. Dhanda, Daniel Gorelik, Najm Khan, Masayoshi Takashima, Patrick Bishara, Edward D. McCoul, Aria Jafari, Omar G. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Postnasal drip (PND) syndrome is a prevalent complaint encountered in otolaryngology practices. PND may be refractory to medical therapy, and surgical treatments are complicated by side effects. Objective: While posterior nasal nerve (PNN) ablation has demonstrated efficacy for chronic rhinitis overall, we sought to examine the effect of PNN ablation for patients with PND as their primary complaint. Methods: This is a retrospective case series study of 40 chronic rhinitis (CR) patients with a primary complaint of PND. Included patients had to have failed medical therapy such as anti-cholinergic nasal sprays, reflux treatments, and/or nasal steroids. Primary outcome measures included 22 item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) PND component and Total Nasal Symptom Score. Secondary outcome measure was subjective improvement, defined as a > 30% improvement in PND symptoms. Results: Median follow-up was 138 days (interquartile range: 72-193). 72.5% (29/40) of patients reported at least a 30% improvement in PND symptoms. Mean PND SNOT-22 scores were 4.2/5 (SD = 0.8) pre-procedure versus 1.9/5 (SD = 1.3) post-procedure (P =.001). PNN ablation response did not correlate to ipratropium bromide nasal spray response, although younger and non-smoker patients had better response rates. Conclusion: This exploratory study of PNN ablation for the primary symptom of PND demonstrates efficacy as assessed by the PND component of SNOT-22 and subjective improvement. These results can be useful in guiding physician–patient discussions in determining treatment options for medically refractory PND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • case series
  • chronic rhinitis
  • cryoablation
  • ipratropium bromide
  • nasal steroids
  • posterior nasal nerve ablation
  • postnasal drip
  • radiofrequency
  • rhinitis
  • SNOT-22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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