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Ann Allergy. 1980 Feb;44(2):106-11.

Mast cells in the cytology of nasal mucosa; a quantitative and morphologic assessment and their diagnostic meaning.


Cytological examinations of nasal mucosa were made on 60 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. In the smear of all of the subjects mast cells and eosinophils were present in various quantities, depending on the intensity of the disease. A larger number were observed in periods of exacerbation than in remission. Mast cells were also found to be distinctly diverse morphologically. Apart from intact cells, mast cells of varying degranulation were also observed. Depending on the degree of degranulation, three types of cells were distinguished. On this basis it was assumed that changes in mast cell morphology may be due to changes of their function because of mucosa immunization. It is suggested that both mast cells and eosinophils should be acknowledged as diagnostic indicators in assessing the extent of allergic reactions of nasal mucosa.

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