Clinical Examination of Tissue Eosinophilia in Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyposis

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Jul;155(1):173-8. doi: 10.1177/0194599816637856. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Objective: (1) Describe clinical and histopathologic findings in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). (2) Determine if tissue and serum eosinophilia predicts disease severity in CRSwNP.

Study design: Case series with chart review.

Setting: Academic hospital specializing in respiratory and allergic disease.

Subjects: Patients with CRSwNP treated from 2008 to 2010.

Methods: Clinical data were collected; sinus computed tomography (CT) scans were scored according to the Lund-Mackay system; and surgical specimens were evaluated for degree of tissue eosinophilia. Statistical analysis was performed to compare eosinophilia with indicators of disease severity.

Results: Seventy CRSwNP patients were included, with a mean Lund-Mackay score of 16.7; 62.1% of patients had severe asthma, and 62.9% were aspirin sensitive. Elevated tissue eosinophil level did not correlate with medication usage, olfactory symptoms, or Lund-Mackay scores, nor did it correlate with presence of asthma or aspirin-sensitivity (P = .09). Patients with mild asthma had significantly more tissue eosinophils versus patients with severe asthma, possibly because of the high amount of chronic corticosteroid use in severe asthmatics. There was no correlation between tissue and serum eosinophil counts (P = .97), but there was a significant positive correlation between CT score and peripheral eosinophil level (P < .05).

Conclusions: Higher serum eosinophil levels may indicate more extensive mucosal disease as measured on CT scan. Neither serum nor tissue eosinophilia predicted disease severity in our retrospective analysis of CRSwNP patients, and serum eosinophil level did not serve as a marker of tissue eosinophilia.

Keywords: allergy; aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease; asthma; chronic sinusitis; nasal polyps.

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Asthma / complications
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Hypersensitivity
  • Eosinophilia / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Polyps / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nasal Polyps / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rhinitis / surgery*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sinusitis / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Aspirin