Clinical and pathologic methods to assess the long-term safety of nasal corticosteroids. French Triamcinolone Acetonide Study Group

Allergy. 2000 Aug;55(8):718-22. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2000.00649.x.


Background: The main objective of this long-term prospective local safety study was to evaluate endoscopic and histologic changes in nasal epithelium after 6-month treatment with triamcinolone acetonide (TAA). We describe here a method to measure quantitatively epithelium thickness. Results were compared with those seen with the use of cetirizine (an antihistamine) and another oral intranasal corticosteroid, beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP).

Methods: Patients were examined by an ENT specialist who first performed an endoscopic evaluation of the nasal cavities, assessing any morphologic abnormalities and the aspect of the mucosa. Biopsies were taken from the inferior turbinate before and after 24 weeks of treatment. Biopsies were immediately fixed in cold acetone (-20 degrees C) and embedded in glycolmethacrylate; sections of 2 microm were cut on an ultramicrotome. Morphometric evaluations were done in a blinded fashion by computerized image analysis to measure an epithelial area over a minimum length of 50 microm. The thickness was ascertained by the ratio of area to length.

Results: 1) For all three treatment groups, the nasal epithelium thickness decreased slightly from pretreatment to the end of treatment. 2) No statistically significant differences between the three treatment groups were found in epithelium thickness. 3) Macroscopically, nasal tissues in all treated groups were normal.

Conclusions: These results clearly indicate that long-term treatment with TAA has no atrophic effect on nasal mucosa.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Beclomethasone / adverse effects
  • Beclomethasone / therapeutic use
  • Cetirizine / adverse effects
  • Cetirizine / therapeutic use
  • Demography
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / pathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / pathology*
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / adverse effects*
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide
  • Beclomethasone
  • Cetirizine