Nasal flushing

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  • Vigorous irrigation of nasal chambers should dislodge cells and debris, which can be examined cytologically.



  • Non-invasive.
  • Quick procedure.
  • Occasionally helps to clear discharge and debris from nasal passages, and reduce stertor.
  • Occasionally produces tissue sample, for histopathological examination, if nasal mass very friable.


  • Requires general anesthesia.
  • May not provide material suitable for examination.
  • Messy.


Materials required

Minimum equipment

  • Flexible rubber catheter (largest diameter which will comfortably fit through nares).

Minimum consumables

  • Five ml syringe.
  • Sterile saline.
  • Sterile receptacle for cytological fluid preservation.
  • Glass slides.
  • gauze swabs.

Ideal consumables

  • Receptacle for collecting debris flushed into mouth through nasopharynx.
    A plastic 5 ml syringe case cut in half longitudinally.


  • Time to induce general anesthesia.


Reasons for treatment failure

  • Poor technique of collecting material produced by flushing nasal chamber.
  • Lesion of interest poorly exfoliative therefore few cells collected.
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