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Medicina (Kaunas). 2008;44(4):257-65.

Association of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and asthma: clinical and radiological features, allergy and inflammation markers.

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Department of Pulmonology and Immunology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Eiveniu 2, 50009 Kaunas, Lithuania.


Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with and without nasal polyps represent different stages of one chronic inflammatory disease of the mucosa of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Coexistence of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and asthma and rather similar characteristics of inflammation support assumption that chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps and asthma may be, at least in part, the same disease process. We therefore aimed to evaluate the differences of sinus radiologic findings, systemic inflammation and allergy markers, pulmonary function of chronic rhinosinusitis associated with nasal polyps and asthma. A total of 121 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis referred to tertiary center were evaluated; 23 healthy persons served as controls. Sinus CT scans and nasal endoscopy were performed. Allergic rhinitis was diagnosed according to history and positive skin prick tests to common inhalant allergens. Asthma was diagnosed according to GINA by history and pulmonary function tests. Aspirin intolerance was assessed by history. Total IgE, Aspergillus fumigatus-specific IgE levels, leukocyte and eosinophil count in the peripheral blood were measured. Nasal polyps were detected in 84 patients (69.4%), asthma diagnosed in 48 patients (39.6%), associated with nasal polyps (91.7%) and allergic rhinitis in 45.5% of patients. Forty-four patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and having nasal polyps and asthma were characterized by older age (P<0.01), greater duration of nasal symptoms (P<0.001), higher number previous surgeries (P<0.01), more severe sinus disease on CT scan (P<0.001), greater blood leukocyte and eosinophil count, total IgE level (P<0.01), bronchial obstruction (P<0.05), incidence of allergic rhinitis (P<0.01), and sensitivity to house dust mite D. pteronyssinus (47.7%, P<0.01) and mold allergens (29.5%, P<0.01) comparing to the patients with isolated chronic rhinosinusitis. The extent of sinus CT changes was greater in asthmatics and correlated with greater duration of asthma (P<0.0001), higher number of previous surgeries (P=0.001), leukocyte count in blood (P=0.025), and age (P=0.039). CONCLUSION. Our data indicate that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis compose clinically heterogeneous group and when associated with nasal polyps and asthma constitutes the most severe form of unified respiratory tract disease, which is characterized by older age of the patients, greater duration of nasal symptoms, extent of sinus radiological changes, more prominent systemic inflammation markers, greater bronchial obstruction, incidence of perennial allergic rhinitis.

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