Eosinophilic Inflammation in Allergic Rhinitis and Nasal Polyposis
On histopathological examination, nasal polyps and nasal mucosa in allergic rhinitis show different forms of pseudostratified respiratory epithelium, whereas the dominant characteristic of lamina propria is an eosinophilic infiltration. The aim of this study was to compare interleukin (IL)-5 and eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP) levels in the nasal fluid of 42 patients: 12 with allergic rhinitis and nasal septal deviation, 17 non-atopic patients with nasal polyposis, and 13 atopic nasal polyp patients were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Nasal secretion samples were collected a few days before surgery. The levels of IL-5 were measured using flow cytometry and the ECP using a commercial ELISA kit. In addition, we counted eosinophils in hematoxylin-and-eosin-stained sections of all nasal polyp and all nasal mucosa samples taken from the inferior nasal turbinates during septoplasty. A significantly higher concentration of IL-5 was found in the nasal fluid of atopic patients with nasal polyposis than in non-atopic nasal polyp patients (p=0.025) and patients with allergic rhinitis (p=0.05). ECP was higher in atopic nasal polyp patients than in patients with allergic rhinitis (p<0.0001) and than in non-atopic nasal polyp patients (p<0.0001). Polyp eosinophils were higher in atopic' than in non-atopic patients (p<0.0001) and higher than in the mucosa of patients with allergic rhinitis (p<0.0001). These however had significantly more mucosal eosinophils than was found in the polyps of non-atopic patients' (p=0.025). ECP levels in nasal fluid and eosinophil counts in tissue specimens correlated well in all three groups of patients. Our study has shown that atopic nasal polyp patients have a higher level of eosinophilic inflammation than non-atopic patients with nasal polyps and patients with allergic rhinitis.