The diagnosis and treatment of rhinitis, sinusitis, and epistaxis during pregnancy present unique challenges to the otolaryngologist. Poorly controlled sinonasal disease may have significant adverse effects on the mother's quality of life and pregnancy outcomes and the lack of adequately controlled safety data limits the clinician's ability to make informed decisions about management. At the conclusion of this discussion, the reader should be familiar with the available literature and evidence-based guidelines regarding the safety and indications for radiographic imaging, clinical testing, medical intervention, and surgical treatment of sinonasal disease in pregnant patients. A review was performed of pertinent guidelines regarding the management of gestational rhinitis, sinusitis, and epistaxis, including the diagnostic and therapeutic limitations and physiological changes specific to pregnancy. A study population of four patients was analyzed to highlight the steps of management by reviewing the patient charts including pertinent history, physical examination, clinical course, and operative reports. Two patients with epistaxis and two patients with rhinosinusitis ranging from 27 to 38 years of age and between 16 and 35 weeks gestation were analyzed. The treatment of sinonasal disease during pregnancy is challenging and a thorough knowledge of the available medical evidence and treatment guidelines is necessary to optimize pregnancy outcomes. When the severity of disease precludes the possibility of delaying treatment, the clinician should provide a limited intervention that optimizes the mother's health without placing the fetus at significant risk.
Keywords: Advair, albuterol, allergic rhinitis, amoxicillin, anaphylaxis, Augmentin, azithromycin, budesonide, epistaxis, fluticasone, gestational rhinitis, montelukast, prednisone, pyogenic granuloma, rads, rhinitis medicamentosa, rhinitis of pregnancy, sinusitis