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Am J Physiol. 1991 Aug;261(2 Pt 1):L218-21.

Method for rapid evaluation of topically applied agents to cystic fibrosis airways.

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  • 1Cystic Fibrosis Research Laboratory, Stanford University, California.


The proposal is to target a single maxillary sinus for treatment with agents designed to reverse or ameliorate the cystic fibrosis (CF) defect in airway mucosa, with the opposite sinus serving as a control. Selected CF patients have undergone maxillary antrostomy and antibiotic lavage to help relieve severe pulmonary disease and chronically impacted and infected sinuses. After treatment, the mucosa in the maxillary sinuses of these patients are accessible and can be bathed with fluids introduced via the stomas with procedures that restrict the fluid to a single sinus. The ability of an agent to reverse mucosal pathology can therefore be determined easily with the mucosa of the contralateral sinus serving as a control. Electrophysiological properties, amounts and composition of fluid and mucus, immune functions, and bacterial colonization can be measured accurately and repeatedly. The consistent observation that sinus involvement in CF is near universal and bilaterally symmetric offers a unique opportunity for a simultaneous within-subject, double-blinded control paradigm. This approach should speed evaluation of any agent designed to improve airway mucosal function.

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