Optimum degree of head elevation/reverse trendelenburg position for sinus surgery: Systematic review

Document Type



Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery; Women and Child Health


Background: This review aims to evaluate the effect of Reverse Trendelenburg Position (RTP) on bleeding and Boezaart score and to determine the optimum degree of head elevation through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methodology: We conducted a systematic review according to PRISMA guidelines and a literature search was performed on PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, Dental and Oral Science, Google scholar and Clinicaltrials.gov and included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in English language only. We extracted all relevant data and conducted quality assessment using Cochrane risk of Bias tool (Version 2). We also performed quality assessment of the outcomes using GRADE. Meta-analysis for all the outcomes using conducted on RevMan version 5.3.
Results: The search identified 629 articles and three RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. Two were included in the meta-analysis. A total of 124 patients were assessed for bleeding during sinus surgery and there was a significant reduction in total blood loss in RTP (10-15°) when compared to horizontal position by 134 ml (Mean Difference (MD): -134.23; 95% confidence interval (CI): -184.13 to -67.27). RTP also had a significant reduction in bleeding per minute by 1.07 ml/min (MD: -1.07; 95%CI: (-1.69 to -0.44), while the Boezaart score was significantly lower in the RTP group (MD: -0.69; 95%CI: -0.94 to -0.43) when compared to horizontal position.
Conclusion: Though with limited evidence RTP for ESS reduces total blood loss, blood loss per minute and improves visualization. Further studies are needed to assess the actual impact and optimal degree of head elevation.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy