• pathophysiology;
  • rhinosinusitis;
  • children;
  • nasal cytology;
  • otitis media;
  • adenoids;
  • atopy

To cite this article: Gelardi M, Marchisio P, Caimmi D, Incorvaia C, Albertario G, Bianchini S, Caimmi S, Celani C, Esposito S, Fattizzo M, Fiorella ML, Frati F, Labò E, Leo G, Licari A, Marseglia A, Piacentini E, Pignataro L, Quaranta N, Tenconi R, Torretta S, Marseglia GL, Principi N. Pathophysiology, favoring factors, and associated disorders in otorhinosinusology. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012: 23 (Suppl. 22): 5–16.


The pathogenesis of rhinosinusitis (RS) is related to inflammation, caused by infections in the acute form of the disease but also by other agents in the chronic forms. Cytology allows to evaluate the defensive components, such as hair cells and muciparous cells, while the presence in the nasal mucosa of eosinophils, mast cells, bacteria and/or fungal hyphae, or spores indicates the nasal pathology. The anatomic and physiologic characteristics of the otorhinosinusal system account for the frequent concomitant involvement of the different components. The pivotal pathophysiologic sites are the ostiomeatal complex, the spheno-ethmoidal recess, and the Eustachian tube. The latter is the link with acute otitis media (AOM), which is the most common disease in infants and children and has major medical, social, and economic effects. Moreover, because of the strict relationship between upper and lower airways, nasal sinus disease may contribute to asthma and sinusitis may be considered as an independent factor associated with frequent severe asthma exacerbations. Concerning the role of allergy, the available data do not permit to attribute a central role to atopy in sinusitis and thus allergy testing should not be a routine procedure, while an allergologic evaluation may be indicated in children with OM, especially when they have concomitant rhinitis.