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Validation of a septoplasty deformity grading system for the evaluation of nasal obstruction



We developed and validated a septal deformity grading (SDG) system that accounts for anatomic location and grading of deformity severity.

Study design

Retrospective cohort study.


Subjects were patients with nasal obstruction presenting to University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Subjects were given pre- and postoperative Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaires and were evaluated by a facial plastic surgeon using our septal deformity grading (SDG) system. Validity and reliability analyses were conducted on the SDG results. Statistical analyses were conducted on SDG and NOSE data to assess and compare instruments, and to validate the SDG instrument using the NOSE instrument.


One hundred thirty-five patients met inclusion criteria. Cronbach's α was ≥ 0.7 for SDG and pre- and postoperative NOSE scores. There was a significant difference in pre- and postoperative NOSE scores (Z score = -7.21, P < .001). Correlations between postoperative NOSE and SDG scores were significant (P = .014), and convergent construct validity was achieved. There was a significant difference in SDG scores between primary versus revision operations (P < .001), history versus no history of nasal trauma, and nasal/septal surgery (P = .025, P = .003, respectively). The odds of having a revision operation were 2.3 times higher for high SDG scores (P < .001), of having a history of nasal trauma were 1.33 times higher for high SDG scores (P = .014), and of having a history of nasal/septal surgery were 2.9 times higher for low SDG scores.


Our SDG system addresses the challenge of providing objective anatomic information on the severity of nasal septal deformities, and may be valuable when used in conjunction with subjective data gathered from the NOSE questionnaire.

Level of evidence

4 Laryngoscope, 129:586-593, 2019.

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