Background: Nasal polyposis (NP) is associated with a more severe and steroid-resistant asthma.
Objective: To compare clinical and airway inflammatory features of asthmatics with or without NP.
Methods: Two groups of asthmatic patients were studied: group 1; n=39, with NP; group 2; n=40, without NP. Asthma control was assessed according to the Asthma Control Scoring System (ACSS). Expiratory flows, induced sputum, and blood eosinophils were also measured.
Results: ACSS score was lower (poorer control) in group 1 (meanA+-SEM = 73A+-3%) compared with group 2 (82A+-2%, p=0.01). FEV1 (mean of predicted value A+- SEM) was 81A+-3 for group 1 and 96A+-3 for group 2 (p=0.001), and the FEV1/FVC ratio was lower in group 1 (70A+-2%) compared with group 2 (76A+-1%, p=0.01). Blood and induced sputum eosinophils, as well as fibronectin and eosinophil cationic protein levels, were higher in group 1.
Conclusion: Asthmatic subjects with NP have increased airway obstruction, increased inflammatory cells and reduced asthma control compared to those without NP. This may suggest a contribution of nasal polyps to the severity of asthma or a common susceptibility to develop upper and lower airways mucosal inflammation.