Nasal polyps and the severity of asthma

Respirology. 2007 Mar;12(2):272-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2006.00964.x.


Background and objectives: Upper airway pathologies often accompany asthma. Because this represents a single airway, the diagnosis, follow up and treatment of both upper and lower respiratory diseases is essential. Samter Syndrome (SS) is known to be associated with more severe asthma. The presence of nasal polyps (NPs) is also associated with asthma. However, the incidence of NPs in asthma and the effect of NPs on asthma severity are not well documented.

Methods: Three hundred and forty-two asthma patients were evaluated by endoscopic nasal examination, pulmonary function test, skin prick tests and paranasal sinus tomography.

Results: Three hundred and eleven patients with asthma without NP, 19 asthma patients with NP and 12 patients with SS were included. It was found that 54.3% of patients without NPs, 63.2% with NP and 66.7% with SS were at step 3 on the Global Initiative for Asthma scale of severity, and 1.9%, 15.8% and 33.3% were at step 4, respectively.

Conclusions: The presence of NPs in asthma patients is associated with an increase in asthma severity. In patients with asthma, the possibility of NPs should be investigated and treatment planned accordingly.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasal Polyps / complications*
  • Nasal Polyps / diagnostic imaging
  • Nasal Polyps / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vital Capacity / physiology*