Mast cell quantitation in nasal polyps, sinus mucosa and nasal turbinate mucosa

H Otsuka, K Ohkubo, H Seki, M Ohnishi, T Fujikura
Journal of Laryngology and Otology 1993, 107 (5): 418-22
The distribution and abundance of mast cells in nasal polyps, the maxillary sinus mucosa of patients with sinusitis and the turbinate mucosa of allergic rhinitis was microscopically examined using different methods of fixation. In the epithelium of the surface and the ducts of nasal polyps (n = 8), the mean number of mast cells was over 20,000 per mm3 using Mota's fixation and the increase was correlated with the epithelial thickness (P < 0.05). On the other hand those of the maxillary sinus mucosa (n = 6) and the nasal turbinate mucosa (n = 7) were less than 6,000 per mm3. In the subepithelial layer or areas deeper than the area with the glands, however, mast cell counts were less than 3,200 per mm3 in all diseases. More than 70-90 per cent of all mast cells in the epithelium of the mucosal surface and the ducts of the polyp, the maxillary sinus mucosa and nasal turbinates were formalin sensitive. Most of the mast cells in the subepithelial and deeper areas were formalin resistant in all diseases. These results suggest that conditions for mast cell growth differ between polyps and the other diseases, and that the conditions which affect mast cells may contribute to polyp development.

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