Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Research

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery is a leader in research across several areas in otorhinolaryngology. The department is committed to the pursuit of high-quality, new and innovative treatments for many of the medical problems that fall under our care. Research in chronic sinusitis, head and neck cancer, and sleep medicine are special strengths. Our leading faculty are frequently invited to provide keynote addresses and serve on publication and organizational boards. The department is gaining significant research momentum with publications appearing in many of the best journals in the field of otorhinolaryngology. We collaborate broadly across the specialties at Rush University Medical Center, with strong collaborations with the departments of divisions of Allergy and Immunology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Hematology and Oncology, Radiation oncology, Pathology and Radiology.

Research in the department is divided into the following sections.

Section of Rhinology, Sinus Surgery and Skull Base Surgery

The Section of Rhinology, Sinus Surgery and Skull Base Surgery includes research across several disease conditions with strong multi-disciplinary collaborations. Current research projects include the following:

  • Chronic sinusitis cohort database including retrospective and prospective phases
  • Nasal microbiome in chronic sinusitis
  • Quality of life outcomes after sinus surgery
  • Survival and quality of life outcomes after treatment of sinonasal tumors
  • Investigation of the relationship between chronic sinusitis and sleep apnea
  • The impact of chronic sinusitis on sleep and circadian rhythm disruption
  • Voice outcomes after sinus surgery
  • Surgical histopathology of chronic sinusitis and how this relates to treatment outcome
  • Outcomes of frontal sinus surgery
  • Technical aspects of minimally invasive approaches for treatment of sinonasal tumors
  • Outcomes in patients with radiation-induced chronic sinusitis
  • Imaging of anterior skull base pathology
  • Cadaveric studies of extended frontal sinus surgery
  • Examining patterns of CPAP use and safety after CSF leak repair/skull base repairs in patients with OSA

Section of Head and Neck Oncology

The Section of Head and Neck Oncology includes strong collaborative efforts with the Department of Radiation Oncology and the Division of Hematology and Oncology. Current ongoing projects include the following:

  • Pathologic findings of neural lesions of the head and neck
  • Transit time flow measurement of  head and neck vasculature
  • Venous flow alterations in irradiated and non- irradiated patients
  • Microvascular free flap flow dynamics
  • Cytology of instrumentation after head and neck cancer surgery
  • Functional outcomes of limited incision, extra-capsular parotid surgery for large parotid tumors
  • Tongue strength after glossectomy and transoral robotic surgery
  • Utility of FNA in detecting HPV/P16 status in head and neck cancer  
  • Photoimmunotherapy  in recurrent head and neck cancer

Section of Sleep Surgery and General Otolaryngology

Experts in the Section of Sleep Surgery and General Otolaryngology are currently conducting the following projects:

  • A Prospective analysis of patients with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, and prevalence of comorbid otolaryngology conditions and symptoms
  • Drug-induced sleep endoscopy exam patterns and how this relates to patient anatomy and severity of OSA
  • Investigation of disparities in care for different ethnicities/socioeconomic background in the Chicago area with regards to OSA
  • Patterns of esophageal perforation management and outcomes
  • Quality improvement review related to the incidence of airway injuries associated with glidescope use
  • Incidence of epistaxis and association with septal deviation
  • Prospective evaluation examining incidence of MSSA and MRSA incidence in patients with recurrent epistaxis
  • Prospective intervention to investigate the effect of tonsil hemorrhage dashboard reporting on incidence of post-operative tonsil hemorrhage
  • Prospective examination of incidence of septoplasty complications
  • Prospective study of patient perceptions of resident involvement in patient care
  • Prospective study of incidence of minor initially unreported bleeds at home after tonsillectom

Section of Laryngology

Current ongoing projects in the Section of Laryngology include the following:

  • Risk factors associated with poor dysphonia and dysphagia outcomes after revision spinal fusions
  • Creation of a voice data repository
  • Review of dysphonia after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Pocket sulcus and voice outcomes
  • QOL in patients with subglottic stenosis
  • Use of trans-tracheal lidocaine for laryngeal botox

Section of Pediatric Otolaryngology

Ongoing projects in the Section of Pediatric Otolaryngology include the following:

  • Use of CT scan in the emergency department to detect peritonsillar abscess in children
  • Use of CT scan in the emergency department to detect deep neck space infection in children
  • Age-dependent narcotic use after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children
  • Investigation of native microbiome in patients with recurrent otitis media, adenoid hypertrophy, and pediatric sinus disease

Section Otology, Neurotology and Lateral Skull Base Surgery

The Section of Otology, Neurotology and Lateral Skull Base Surgery has the following ongoing projects:

  • Development of an acoustic neuroma database
  • Incidence and outcomes of patients presenting with otogenic encephaloceles and cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Investigation of the risk factors, incidence and outcomes of patients with otogenic pneumocephalus

For more information contact

Liz Carter
Senior Residency Coordinator
elizabeth_carter@rush.edu