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Allergic fungal sinusitis: diagnosis and treatment.

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The Georgia Nasal and Sinus Institute, 4750 Waters Avenue, Suite 112, Savannah, GA 31404, USA.


Since allergic fungal sinusitis was initially described by Millar in 1981, many have tried to define and explain the disorder. It has been labeled as the sinonasal equivalent of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; however, allergic fungal sinusitis cannot be categorized so easily. According to the literature at this time, there are five major criteria and six associated characteristics or minor criteria of patients with allergic fungal sinusitis. In reality, patients may not develop all five major criteria or have any of the associated criteria for years. Allergic fungal sinusitis is not only difficult to diagnose, but it is one of the most complicated conditions rhinologists must manage. Endoscopic sinus surgery must be used in conjunction with long-term medical therapy, oral and nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, antifungal therapy, and antimicrobial agents to effectively control the problem. Allergic fungal sinusitis is most likely the endpoint in a spectrum of sinonasal disease, driven by the presence of fungus and eosinophils with their inflammatory mediators. The affected nasal mucosa no longer functions properly, and a cycle of chronic edema, stasis, and bacterial superinfection results. Therapy entails disrupting the inflammatory process to allow normal mucosal function to resume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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