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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2000 Dec;25(6):518-25.

Origin and spread of allergic fungal disease of the nose and paranasal sinuses.

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The Royal National, Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, London, UK.


Although expansion of bony walls occurs in allergic fungal disease of the nose and paranasal sinuses by increased mucus secretion and fungal growth, the latter is apparently confined to the lumen and does not invade the tissues. Nevertheless, spread of the disease process from paranasal sinuses to orbit, cheek and intracranial cavity is well described. An imaging and histopathological study was carried out in 16 cases to determine how the disease originates and spreads. The infection starts in the nasal cavity, the lumen of a sinus or in a seromucinous gland or duct. A thin vascular zone of intense allergic inflammation surrounds the infected mucin. Erosion of bone takes place focally, probably by substances produced by the inflammatory tissue, allowing intromission by the thin vascular layer together with its underlying fungus-containing mucus and so extension of the disease process through the eroded bone.

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