Oxidative stress in nonallergic nasal polyps associated with bronchial hyperresponsiveness1


  • 1

    Part of this work was presented at 10th Asia–Oceania ORL Head and Neck Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 22–26 February 2004.

Weng-Cheng Chang, MD, PhD
No. 91 Hsueh-Shih Rd
Taichung City 404


Background:  Nasal polyposis (NP) is a chronic inflammatory disease of upper airway with unknown etiology. NP is frequently associated with asthma; the interaction between these comorbidities remains interesting. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of NP and asthma. The aim of this study is to investigate the significance of oxidative stress in sinonasal microenvironments by evaluating its association with clinopathological parameters and its impacts on the pathogenesis of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) in NP.

Methods:  Polyp biopsy specimens were obtained from 20 nonallergic patients; control mucosas were obtained from 20 volunteers. The levels of free radicals in the tissues and in blood were determined by a sensitive chemiluminescence (CL) method. NP patients were substratified into three subgroups, NP without BHR, NP with asymptomatic BHR, and NP with BHR and asthma by the results of provocative testing. Four histological characteristics of NP, inflammatory cells, eosinophil infiltration, edema and fibrosis were estimated and applied to correlate with the tissue-CL.

Results:  The mean CL level in polyp-tissues, but not in blood, was higher than in the control specimens. In NP patients, tissue-CL was associated with endoscopy score; high tissue-CL levels were positively correlated with the abundance of inflammatory cells and eosinophils. Tissue-CL and endoscopy score were associated with BHR/asthma phenotype.

Conclusion:  These results suggest an important role for oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of NP and a causal relation between oxidative stress and inflammatory cells, especially the eosinophils. Free radical levels in polyp-tissues associated with NP severity and with BHR/asthma phenotype in nonallergic NP patients.