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Clinical Investigations: CYSTIC FIBROSIS |

Nasal Polyps in Cystic Fibrosis*: Clinical Endoscopic Study With Nasal Lavage Fluid Analysis

Gert Henriksson, MD; Karl Magnus Westrin, MD, PhD; Ferenc Karpati, MD; Ann-Charlotte Wikström, MD, PhD; Pontus Stierna, MD, PhD; Lena Hjelte, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs. Henriksson, Westrin, and Stierna), Pediatrics (Drs. Karpati and Hjelte), and Medical Nutrition (Dr. Wikström), Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.

Correspondence to: Gert Henriksson, MD, Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, SE-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden; e-mail: Gert.Henriksson@ent.hs.sll.se



Chest. 2002;121(1):40-47. doi:10.1378/chest.121.1.40
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Study objectives: Nasal polyps frequently appear in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The aims of this study were to focus on what problems (symptoms, endoscopic findings, and laboratory correlates) nasal polyps cause the CF patient, and how these correlate to the total health situation of this patient group.

Patients and study design: The clinical histories, endoscopic investigations of the nasal cavity, and analyses of nasal lavage fluid of 44 patients with CF complicated with nasal polyposis have been compared with those of 67 CF control subjects. The patients were examined at annual control examinations (with pulmonary tests, working capacity, liver tests, and bacterial and blood tests) from 1995 to 1996 at Stockholm Cystic Fibrosis Center, Huddinge University Hospital. All patients were > 2 years of age. The endoscopic findings were related to the actual pulmonary function, inflammatory blood parameters, colonizing pathogens, antibodies (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and genotype.

Results: The patients with nasal polyps differed with respect to chronic colonization of P aeruginosa in sputum samples and had a higher occurrence of serum antibodies against the same species. The two groups did not differ in pulmonary functions, inflammatory parameters, or genotype. The polyps found were mainly small (within the meatus media) and gave no significant increase in ongoing clinical symptoms such as rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, or hyposmia. Neither was any significantly marked finding concerning the nose (mucosal swellings, secretion, etc.) made in the polyp patients. The patients with CF scored slightly lower in a smell identification test in comparison with the healthy control group. The nasal lavage fluid was analyzed (in 93 of the 111 patients) for the occurrence of P aeruginosa (by polymerase-chain reaction [PCR]), interleukin [IL]-5, IL-8, and lysozyme. The lysozyme and IL-8 content was equal in the two CF groups but increased in comparison with the healthy control group. P aeruginosa was not detected with PCR in any nasal lavage fluid. No measurable levels of IL-5 in the nasal lavage were found.

Conclusions: There was a higher frequency of chronic colonization of P aeruginosa in the lower respiratory tract in patients with nasal polyps. Otherwise, nonsevere nasal polyposis was not an indicator of lower respiratory tract morbidity in CF patients.


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