Background: It has been suggested that bacterial biofilms may be a causative factor in the aetiopathogenesis of chronic tonsillitis. Involvement of exhaled nitric oxide has been previously considered, with conflicting findings. Objective: A pilot study was performed to investigate the relationship between exhaled nitric oxide levels and the presence of tonsillar biofilm-producing bacteria in children with chronic tonsillitis. Method: Tonsillar biofilm-producing bacteria on bioptic specimens taken during tonsillectomy were assessed by means of spectrophotometry. Results: Analysis was based on 24 children aged 5-10 years (median, 7.5 years). Biofilm-producing bacteria were found in 40.9 per cent of specimens. The median exhaled nitric oxide level was 11.6 ppb (range, 3.2-22.3 ppb). There was a significant relationship between the presence of biofilm-producing bacteria and increased exhaled nitric oxide levels (p = 0.03). Children with exhaled nitric oxide levels of more than 8 ppb were at three times greater risk of developing tonsillar biofilm-producing bacteria than those with lower levels. Conclusion: Our findings suggest the possibility of discriminating children with chronic biofilm-sustained tonsillar infections on the basis of exhaled nitric oxide levels.
- Nitric Oxide
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