BACKGROUND: Intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) are prescribed for the long-term prophylactic treatment of inflammatory upper airway conditions. Although some systemic absorption can occur via topical routes, the clinical relevance is controversial. The effects of orally administered corticosteroids on intraocular pressure (IOP) and lens opacity (LO) are well established, but the impact of the INCS is less well defined. This study aims to systematically review the literature for evidence of adverse occular events with INCS use.
METHODOLOGY: A systematic review of literature from Medline and Embase databases (January 1974 to 21st of November 2013) was performed. Using the PRISMA guidelines, all controlled clinical trials of patients using INCS, that reported original measures of IOP, LO, glaucoma or cataract incidences were included. Studies with adjuvant administration of oral, inhaled and intravenous steroids were excluded.
RESULTS: 665 articles were retrieved with 137 were considered for full-text review. Of these, 116 (85%) were literature reviews and two were case reports. 19 studies (10 RCTs, 1 case-control, 8 case series) were included for the qualitative review, of which 18 reported data on IOP and 10 on cataract/LO. None (n=0) of the 10 RCT reporting data on glaucoma or IOP demonstrated changes in IOP compared to control. Also none (n=0) of the 6 RCTs reporting cataract or lens opacity demonstrated changes compared to control.
CONCLUSION: Data from studies with low levels of bias, do not demonstrate a clinically relevant impact of INCS on neither ocular pressure, glaucoma, lens opacity nor cataract formation.