Functional Recovery of Rabbit Maxillary Sinus Mucosa in Two Different Experimental Injury Models



Objective/Hypothesis: Ciliary wave disorder (CWD) is essential for effective mucociliary transport. The purpose of this study was to investigate morphologic and functional restoration in recovered sinus mucosa after 12 weeks of experimentally induced rhinosinusitis and regenerated sinus mucosa after mechanical injury.

Study Design: Prospective study with animal models.

Methods: Ten New Zealand white rabbits weighing between 2.5 and 3 kg were used for this experiment. In the recovered mucosa group (n = 5), the natural ostium of the maxillary sinus was closed with a synthetic sponge and removed 2 weeks later. In the regenerated sinus mucosa group (n = 5), maxillary sinus mucosa was stripped off through the anterior wall. Left sinus mucosae were used as controls. Twelve weeks postoperatively, ciliary beat frequency (CBF) and CWD were measured using an image analysis system. Morphologic changes in cilia were also observed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Results: The average CBFs in control, recovered, and regenerated mucosa were 13.21 ± 3.66 Hz, 13.20 ± 3.53 Hz, and 14.16 ± 3.87 Hz, respectively. The average CWDs in these groups were 8.46 ± 4.4, 21.04 ± 14.73, and 24.43 ± 19.2, respectively. SEM showed that loss of cilia and irregularities of ciliary arrangements were prominent in regenerated sinus mucosa.

Conclusion: Although 12 weeks is enough for morphologic regeneration of the ciliated epithelium after experimental sinusitis in rabbit maxillary sinuses, it does not appear long enough for full functional recovery. Restoration of CBFs does not equate to concurrent CWD restoration.