Regular CPAP utilization reduces nasal inflammation assessed by nasal cytology in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Matteo Gelardi, Giuseppe Carbonara, Enrico Maffezzoni, Maurizio Marvisi, Nicola Quaranta, Raffaele Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To analyze nasal inflammation in a group of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) by means of nasal cytology and to describe the changes induced by continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) treatment. Subjects and methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients affected by OSAS (mean age 46.9. years) and 13 control subjects (mean age 49.1. years) were enrolled. Detailed clinical, laboratory, and polysomnographic studies were obtained in all participants and, in particular, nasal cytology was performed; inflammatory cells (neutrophils, eosinophils, mast cells, lymphocytes), bacteria, and spores were counted. A subgroup of 19 OSAS patients underwent regular nasal CPAP for eight weeks while the remaining 13 were noncompliant. Nasal cytology was repeated after eight weeks in all patients and controls. Results: All patients with OSAS were affected by some form of rhinopathy, mostly subclinical, which was not found to influence compliance to CPAP. Regular CPAP treatment induced a significant reduction of cell infiltration (neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and muciparous cells), which was not seen in nontreated patients. Conclusion: Nasal inflammation/infection is a very frequent finding in OSAS and can be reverted by the regular use of CPAP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-863
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Continuous positive air pressure
  • Nasal cytology
  • Nasal inflammation
  • Nonallergic rhinitis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Regular CPAP utilization reduces nasal inflammation assessed by nasal cytology in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this