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Sinus and adenoid inflammation in children with chronic rhinosinusitis and asthma.

BACKGROUND: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and asthma frequently coexist in children and adults. However, the precise pathophysiologic mechanism of this interaction is still poorly understood, especially in children, owing to the lack of direct measurements of mucosal inflammation in the upper airways.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the pathophysiologic mechanism by analyzing the expression of a large array of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the sinus and adenoid tissues surgically removed from pediatric patients with CRS refractory to medical management.

METHODS: Twenty-eight children 2 to 12 years old diagnosed with CRS with or without asthma and 10 controls were included in this prospective, nonrandomized study. Mucosal expression of 40 inflammatory cytokines was measured with a multiplex assay and was normalized to total tissue protein.

RESULTS: Compared with children with CRS and without asthma, children with CRS and asthma had significantly higher sinus levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and adenoid levels of epidermal growth factor, eotaxin, fibroblast growth factor-2, growth-related oncogene, and platelet-derived growth factor-AA.

CONCLUSION: The inflammatory response in the upper airway mucosa of children with asthma and CRS was similar, but more severe, compared with children with CRS without asthma. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that asthma in these patients is caused or exacerbated by severe upper airway disease and supports the concept that treating sinus disease is paramount in the management of chronic asthma in children using, for the first time, direct measurements of airway inflammation in children.

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