Microbial biofilms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP). Intranasal application of corticosteroids (INCS) is a reliable option in the management of CRSwNP. INCS medication has been suspected to influence the presence and thickness of microbial biofilms and inflammatory cell patterns in CRSwNP. Two series of identical nasal polyps obtained from non-allergic patients with CRSwNP (n = 56), who underwent endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS), were processed to hematoxylin-eosin (H.E.) and Gram staining, respectively. Patients were recruited into three groups. Group A (n = 21) consisted of patients with continuous preoperative INCS treatment. In group B (n = 17), patients were never treated by INCS, while in group C (n = 18) INCS medication was stopped at least 6 months before ESS. Biofilm positivity varied from 76.4 to 88.8 % in different subject groups. These values and average thickness of biofilms did not reach statistically significant levels (Mann-Whitney's U probe, p > 0.05) in different patient groups. In contrast, microscopic pattern and numbers of predominant inflammatory cell populations displayed obvious differences according to INCS treatment (Mann-Whitney's U probe, p < 0.001). According to these observations, INCS treatment does not affect the presence and thickness of microbial biofilms in CRSwNP. In contrast, it has significant effects on the pattern of inflammatory cells infiltrating the subepithelial layer, which might result in beneficially altered extracellular matrix production and cytokine release.
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