Are atopy and eosinophilic bronchial inflammation associated with relapsing forms of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps?

Mona Rita Yacoub, Matteo Trimarchi, George Cremona, Sara Dal Farra, Giuseppe Alvise Ramirez, Valentina Canti, Emanuel Della Torre, Mattia Baldini, Patrizia Pignatti, Mario Bussi, Maria Grazia Sabbadini, Angelo A. Manfredi, Giselda Colombo

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Background: The aetiopathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is still unknown. The role of atopy and the concept of united airways in such patients are still a matter of debate. In this pilot study we aimed at evaluating the degree of eosinophilic inflammation and the frequency of atopy in a cohort of CRSwNP patients candidate for Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and assessing the association between these factors and relapsing forms of CRSwNP. Methods: 30 patients (18 men, 12 women) with CRSwNP eligible for FESS were evaluated before and after surgery. Preoperative investigation included: history of previous relapse after FESS, clinical and laboratory allergologic assessment, spirometry, methacholine challenge, blood eosinophilia and determination of the fraction of nitric oxide in exhaled air (FeNO). Nasal fibroendoscopy, spirometry and FeNO determination were also assessed prospectively at 3 and 27months post-FESS. Results: 18/30 subjects were atopic, 6/18 (33%) were monosensitized, 16/30 (53%) were asthmatics and 10/30 (33%) had non steroidalantinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) hypersensitivity. Twenty-one patients (70%) were classified as relapsers, 15/18 (83%) among atopics, 6/12 (50%) among non atopics (p=0.05). Among patients with NSAIDs hypersensitivity, 9/10 (90%) were relapsers. The median IgE concentration was 161.5UI/mL in relapsers and 79UI/mL in non-relapsers (ns). The mean FeNO decreased after FESS (43.1-26.6ppb) in 84% of patients, but this effect disappeared over time (FeNO=37.7ppb at 27months). Higher levels of FeNO pre-FESS were detected in atopics, and in particular in relapsing ones (median 51.1ppb vs 22.1, ns). Higher levels of FeNO pre-FESS were detected in asthmatic patients, especially in those who relapsed (median: 67 vs 64.85ppb in non-relapsed patients, ns). The Tiffeneau Index (FEV1/FVC) was significantly lower in asthmatic relapsers than in non relapsers asthmatics (94.7±11.1 versus 105±5.9-p=0.04). Patients with asthma and atopy had a major risk of relapse (p=0.05). Conclusion: In our pilot study, atopy, severe asthma, bronchial inflammation, NSAIDs hypersensitivity and high level of total IgE are possible useful prognostic factors for the proneness to relapse after FESS. The role of allergy in CRSwNP pathogenesis should consequently be given deeper consideration. Allergen specific immunotherapy, combined with anti-IgE therapy, may have an immunomodulatory effect preventing polyps relapse and need to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalClinical and Molecular Allergy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 11 2015


  • Atopy
  • Eosinophils
  • Nasal polyps
  • Relapse
  • Rhinosinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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