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Clinical Excellence

Kuan Research 1

My clinical focus is in three areas:

  1. Sinonasal inflammatory disease, including nasal polyps, with a focus on revision/complex cases (e.g., frontal sinus surgery, modified endoscopic Lothrop, medial maxillectomy)
  2. Surgical treatment of sinonasal tumors, both benign (e.g., inverted papilloma) and malignant
  3. Endoscopic skull base surgery, including:
    • Pituitary tumors (both functioning and non-functioning)
    • Cerebrospinal fluid leaks and encephaloceles
    • Sinonasal tumors with intracranial involvement (squamous cell carcinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, melanoma, adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, etc.)
    • Intracranial/skull base pathologies (meningioma, craniopharyngioma, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, etc.)

To date, I perform over 100 cases per year for the treatment of sinonasal tumors and skull base pathologies in conjunction with our neurosurgery and head and neck colleagues. There has been steady growth in volume, averaging at least 1-3 cases per week, and we are the only tertiary academic center in Orange County able to provide these comprehensive services. Many cases are being referred from other outside institutions and/or are revision or “inoperable” cases. Our catchment area and referrals are broad, drawing patients from Orange County, Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire (both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties), and parts of San Diego County. In some instances, patients have traveled from outside of California and even from outside the United States to see us for these problems.

Many sinonasal tumor and skull base surgery patients require a multidisciplinary team-based approach care which may also enlist the support of head and neck oncology, ophthalmology/oculoplastic surgery, radiation oncology, hematology/oncology, pathology, neuroradiology, and neurocritical care, among many other subspecialists. Patient cases are presented weekly at both the Brain Tumor Board and the Head and Neck Tumor Board.


In addition, I have aligned academic and research activities with my clinical focus, performing work on clinical outcomes and treatment paradigms following endoscopic sinus, tumor, and skull base surgery. This had led to numerous peer-reviewed publications in otolaryngology, neurosurgery, and rhinology journals. My group welcomes investigators at all levels, including undergraduates, medical students, residents, and fellows, and we have a strong track record of consistent productivity. Of note, I am a contributing author for the International Consensus Statements of Allergy and Rhinology for both the Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery (July 2019) and Updated Rhinosinusitis (December 2020) guidelines.

With me as site principal investigator, UCI was recently selected as a participating site for the Cole-Reagins Registry for Sinonasal Cancer (CORSICA), which is a multi-institutional collaborative effort to understand the interplay of patient characteristics, tumor biology, and treatment and quality-of-life outcomes in sinonasal malignancies. These tumors are extremely rare and heterogeneous, and very little overall is known about them, and thus participating in such an initiative is extremely impactful and may help expand counseling and treatment options for these patients.

I am also actively involved in collaborations with other faculty members within biomedical engineering investigating clinical applications of emerging technologies in rhinology and skull base surgery.


Link to my publications

Kuan 1

Khodayar Goshtasbi, MS4, presenting on the prognostic value of the Hyams grading system for esthesioneuroblastomas at 2019 Rhinoworld Chicago. This study was a top-rated abstract of the meeting and received the International Rhinologic Society Clinical Science Award. The results of this study were published in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology (Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2019 Sep;9(9):1054-1062).

Kuan 2

Brandyn Dunn, PGY-4, presenting on safety and outcomes of concurrent endoscopic sinus surgery and septorhinoplasty as part of a two-team approach with rhinology and facial plastic surgery at the 2019 American Rhinologic Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy (Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2020 Dec, in press).

Kuan 3

Arash Abiri, MS2, presented our poster on adjuvant immunotherapy in the treatment of sinonasal mucosal melanomas at the 2020 Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting in Coronado, CA. It received the First Place Poster in Rhinology and Allergy at this meeting.

Kuan 4

Khodayar Goshtasbi, MS4, presenting on endoscopic versus non-endoscopic treatment for pituitary adenomas at the 2020 North American Skull Base Society meeting in San Antonio, TX. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery (J Neurosurg. 2020 Mar 13:1-9).