Rhinoscleroma: a detailed histopathological diagnostic insight

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Jul 1;8(7):8438-45. eCollection 2015.


Rhinoscleroma (RS) is a chronic specific disease of nose and upper respiratory passages caused by Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis bacilli. It is endemic in Egypt and in sporadic areas worldwide. Diagnosis of RS depends on identification of the pathognomonic Mickulicz cells (MCs) which is most prominent during granulomatous phase but spares or absent during catarrhal or sclerotic phases of the disease. This study aimed to identify the potential diagnostic features of nasal RS when MCs are absent. Nasal biopsies from 125 patients complaining of chronic nasal symptoms were retrieved for this study; including 72 chronic non specific inflammatory lesions and 53 RS diagnosed by PAS and Geimsa stains. The detailed histological differences among the two groups were measured statistically. RS was frequently a bilateral disease (P < 0.05) of young age (P < 0.001) with a female predominance (P < 0.05) and usually associated with nasal crustations (P < 0.001). Five strong histological indicators of RS were specified by univariate binary logistic regression analyses including squamous metaplasia (OR 27.2, P < 0.0001), dominance of plasma cells (OR 12.75, P < 0.0001), Russell bodies (OR 8.83, P < 0.0001), neutrophiles (OR 3.7, P < 0.001) and absence of oesinophiles (OR 12.0, P < 0.0001). According to Multivariate analysis, the diagnostic features of RS in absence of MCs can be classified into major criteria including dominance of plasma cells infiltration and absence of oesinophiles and minor criteria including young age, female gender, bilateral nasal involvement, nasal crustation, squamous metaplasia, Russell bodies, and neutrophiles. The diagnostic model using the two major criteria confirmed or excluded RS in 84.3% of the investigated cases.

Keywords: Rhinoscleroma; absent Mickulicz cells; early diagnosis; major and minor diagnostic criteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Eosinophils / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metaplasia
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Nose / pathology*
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinoscleroma / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult