A comparative study between adenoids and nasal mucosa for ciliated epithelium in children with recurrent or chronic rhinosinusitis

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Dec:115:94-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.09.018. Epub 2018 Sep 21.


Objective: To determine whether adenoid epithelium is superior to nasal mucosa for biopsy of ciliated epithelium for electron microscopy (EM) to evaluate pediatric patients with rhinosinusitis for primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).

Methods: A retrospective review compared electron microscopic results in children with chronic or recurrent rhinosinusitis who underwent both adenoidectomy or nasopharyngeal biopsy and nasal mucosa biopsy in the course of evaluation for PCD at a tertiary care institution.

Results: Forty pediatric patients met inclusion criteria for this study. Nine of these patients had a prior adenoidectomy and therefore underwent nasopharyngeal biopsy for collection of adenoid tissue. All nine of the nasopharyngeal biopsies and 25 of the 31 (80.6%) adenoid biopsies had sufficient cilia for EM evaluation of the ultrastructure. Of the 40 patients who also had a nasal biopsy, only 12 (30.0%) had sufficient cilia for EM analysis. The distribution of sufficient versus insufficient cilia for analysis between adenoid and nasal mucosa was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Abnormal cilia were found in only 2.5% of our patients.

Conclusions: In current practice, the nasal cavity is a common location for obtaining ciliated epithelium for EM analysis, as it is easily accessible for biopsy and the procedure itself causes relatively low patient morbidity. Chronic rhinosinusitis, however, has been associated with decreased cilia density on nasal respiratory epithelium. Given that adenoidectomies are often performed in children with chronic rhinosinusitis, our data suggest that adenoid tissue is a better source of ciliated tissue for analysis compared to turbinate epithelium.

Keywords: Adenoids; Cilia; Immotile cilia; Primary ciliary dyskinesia; Rhinosinusitis; Sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Adenoids / pathology*
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cilia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kartagener Syndrome / pathology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nasal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / pathology*
  • Sinusitis / pathology*