Objectives/Hypothesis: Biofilms might play a potential role in the pathogenesis and high recurrence rate of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP). Biofilm persistence has been thought to correlate with epithelial damage, subepithelial inflammatory cell infiltration, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor (TNFR) expression in CRSwNP. Study Design: Case-control experimental study. Methods: A total of 36 patients with CRSwNP undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery were analyzed. The negative control group consisted of eight patients undergoing septoplasty for nasal obstruction without CRSwNP. The nasal polyps and inferior turbinate mucosa samples applied as negative controls were processed by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) and Gram staining and TNFR-I and TNFR-II-specific immunofluorescent assay. Results: Biofilm was detected in 29 of 36 patients with CRSwNP and in none of the eight negative controls. Staining by HE showed strong correlation with the results of Gram staining protocol. In the biofilm-positive cases, TNFR-I and TNFR-II displayed homogeneous pattern of significantly increased epithelial expression compared to the biofilm-negative nasal polyps. In cases of biofilm absence, the expression pattern of TNF-α receptors was characterized by increased TNFR-II-specific immunoreaction. It was found that biofilm detectability corresponded to the integrity of nasal epithelium and to the dominant inflammatory cell type of the subepithelial layer. Conclusions: Persisting biofilms might increase the epithelial sensitivity against TNF-α that result in epithelium destruction. Coexistence of biofilms and increased TNFR expression might explain the inflammatory mucosal changes, functional disorders, and therapy resistance featuring CRSwNP.
- Level of Evidence: 3b.
- chronic rhinosinusitis
- nasal polyps
- tumor necrosis factor-α receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas