Background and aim: Pathologic examination of the sinus mucosa and titration of inflammatory mediators in the sinus fluid were carried out to characterize inflammation in chronic sinusitis and determine whether patients with chronic allergic rhinitis (CAR) and sinusitis differ from patients with chronic nonallergic rhinitis (CNAR) and sinusitis.
Methods: Nine control subjects (patients requiring ear, nose, and throat surgery not related to sinusitis), 12 patients with CAR and sinusitis, and 13 patients with CNAR and sinusitis were investigated. Eosinophil cationic protein, tryptase, myeloperoxidase, histamine, and prostaglandin D2 were measured in the sinus lavage fluids, and cells were enumerated. The cellular infiltrate was studied by immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies against eosinophil cationic protein (eosinophils), tryptase (mast cells), neutrophil elastase (neutrophils), CD3 (lymphocytes), CD68 (macrophages), and proliferating cell nuclear antigens.
Results: Neutrophils were not increased in sinusitis. In comparison with control subjects, patients with CAR and CNAR with sinusitis showed significant increases in eosinophils and macrophages in biopsy specimens and in eosinophil cationic protein in sinus lavage fluids. In comparison with patients with CNAR, patients with CAR had an increased number of intraepithelial mast cells and lymphocytes.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that patients with CNAR and sinusitis can be distinguished from patients with CAR and sinusitis, which resembles nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome.