The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Effect of passive smoking on the ultrastructure of the nasal mucosa in children†
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 122, Issue 5, pages 965–969, May 2012
How to Cite
Elwany, S., Ibrahim, A. A., Mandour, Z. and Talaat, I. (2012), Effect of passive smoking on the ultrastructure of the nasal mucosa in children. The Laryngoscope, 122: 965–969. doi: 10.1002/lary.23246
- Issue published online: 18 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 27 DEC 2011
- nasal mucosa;
- electron microscopy;
- Level of Evidence: 2c
Passive exposure to cigarette smoke has been implicated in a number of respiratory childhood disorders. Most studies concerning smoking were directed to its carcinogenic effect on the lungs. However, the effects of smoking on nasal respiratory mucosa have not been widely studied. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to study the ultrastructural changes in the nasal mucosa of a pediatric population exposed to passive smoking.
The study included 20 children between the ages of 5 and 11 years, who were scheduled for tonsillectomy and at the same time had a positive history of prolonged exposure to household passive smoke. Another 10 children with a negative household smoking history were included as a control group. All children were nonatopic and with a negative family history of allergy. None of them had adenoids or infective rhinosinusitis.
At the time of surgery, a 1-mm3 biopsy was taken was taken from the lower border of the inferior turbinate. The specimens were processed and examined with electron microscopy
Examination of the nasal mucosa showed several ultrastructural changes. These included patchy loss of cilia, generalized loss of cilia, squamous metaplasia, hyperplasia of goblet cells and seromucinous acini, and vascular congestion. More severe changes were observed with longer passive exposures to cigarette smoke. The study did not disclose any evidence of ongoing allergic reaction or neoplastic transformations.
Children exposed to passive cigarette smoke may develop several structural changes in the respiratory nasal mucosa with subsequent negative effects on its ciliary activity and mucociliary function. As a result of these effects, defense mechanisms of the nose may be ruined or lost, and those children may develop persistent sinonasal infections. Exposure of these children to passive smoking for longer periods of time may also induce other significant changes that were not detected in the present study.