Rhinosinusitis in severe asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jan;107(1):73-80. doi: 10.1067/mai.2001.111593.


Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common comorbidity of asthma. However, sinonasal involvement in severe steroid-dependent asthma is still undefined.

Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate chronic rhinosinusitis in 35 patients with severe steroid-dependent asthma by using a clinical score and coronal computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Methods: Thirty-five subjects (16 female subjects) with severe asthma requiring daily doses of oral corticosteroids were compared with 34 patients (19 female patients) with mild-to-moderate asthma. Sinonasal involvement was studied by using clinical and CT scores. Airflow obstruction, therapy requirement, and asthma triggering factors were carefully assessed.

Results: The proportion of patients with symptoms of rhinosinusitis was similar in both groups of asthmatic subjects (74% in patients with severe steroid-dependent asthma and 70% in patients with mild-to-moderate asthma). All subjects with steroid-dependent asthma versus 88% of subjects with mild-to-moderate asthma had abnormal CT scan results. The clinical (P <.05) and CT scan (P <.0005) severity scores were higher in the subjects with severe steroid-dependent asthma. In both groups the CT scan scores were correlated to the clinical scores (P <.0001 and P <.006), but only in the mild-to-moderate group were both scores correlated with high significance (P <.002 and P <.0005) to the absolute number of blood eosinophils.

Conclusion: Frequency of rhinosinusitis in patients with mild-to-moderate or severe steroid-dependent asthma is similar; however, sinonasal involvement, as evaluated by clinical symptoms and CT scan imaging, is significantly greater in the patients with severe steroid-dependent asthma than in those with mild-to-moderate asthma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Nasal Cavity / diagnostic imaging
  • Paranasal Sinuses / diagnostic imaging
  • Rhinitis / complications*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed