air pollution

Air Pollution Significantly Contributes to the Development of Chronic Rhinosinusitis, Nasal Polyps

Air pollution significantly affects the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis and may contribute to the development of nasal polyps in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis, according to a new study from Rush University Medical Center.

“Increasing ozone exposure was linked to both higher tissue inflammation and presence of eosinophilic aggregates and Charcot-Leyden crystals in [patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps],” the researchers wrote.

To conduct their study, the researchers characterized the tissues of 291 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis who were undergoing sinus surgery. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool was used to estimate each patient’s level of small particulate matter and ground-level ozone exposures. Histopathology reports were created for each patient and were compared using logistic regression models.

The results showed that patients with more inflammation were significantly associated with increased ozone exposure.

“Amongst the patients with [with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps] (n=131), presence of eosinophilic aggregates (p = 0.018) and Charcot-Leyden crystals (p = 0.036) was associated with increased ozone exposure,” the researchers wrote.

—Amanda Balbi


Patel TR, Tajudeen BA, Brown H, et al. Association of air pollutant exposure and sinonasal histopathology findings in chronic rhinosinusitis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2021;35(6):761-767.