A clinical and pathologic study of chronic sinusitis: the role of the eosinophil

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988 May;81(5 Pt 1):867-75. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(88)90944-x.


Evidence exists that the eosinophil plays an important role in mediating injury to bronchial epithelium in chronic asthma. Here, the role of the eosinophil in chronic inflammatory disease of the paranasal sinuses was studied with tissue from patients who underwent surgery for chronic sinusitis. Paranasal tissue from patients with chronic asthma and/or allergic rhinitis was extensively infiltrated with eosinophils. Immunofluorescent studies demonstrated a striking association between the presence of extracellular deposition of major basic protein and damage to sinus mucosa. The histopathology of paranasal respiratory epithelium appeared similar to that described in bronchial asthma. These findings suggest that the eosinophil acts as an effector cell in chronic inflammatory disease of paranasal respiratory epithelium. Thus, sinus disease in patients with asthma may be due to the same mechanisms that cause damage to bronchial epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Eosinophils / metabolism
  • Eosinophils / pathology
  • Eosinophils / physiology*
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / complications
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / metabolism
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / pathology
  • Ribonucleases*
  • Sinusitis / etiology
  • Sinusitis / metabolism
  • Sinusitis / pathology*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Ribonucleases