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01.09.2009 | Rhinology | Ausgabe 9/2009

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 9/2009

Mucosal changes in chronic hypertrophic rhinitis after surgical turbinate reduction

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology > Ausgabe 9/2009
George Gindros, Ilias Kantas, Dimitrios G. Balatsouras, Dimitris Kandiloros, Anastasios K. Manthos, Aikaterini Kaidoglou


Chronic nasal obstruction owed to chronic hypertrophic rhinitis is one of the most common problems encountered in rhinology. Various forms of conservative therapy have been used, but these are often ineffective and surgical reduction techniques have been successfully applied. However, the issue of postoperative histological changes in the nasal mucosa has not been adequately addressed. The aim of the present study was to comparatively evaluate the effect of the methods of submucosal monopolar diathermy, radiofrequency coblation and ultrasounds on the nasal mucosa. Sixty patients with chronic hypertrophic rhinitis of nonallergic etiology underwent different surgical methods of turbinate reduction, divided into two groups: (1) 30 patients underwent tissue volume reduction of the inferior nasal turbinates using ultrasound procedure on the left side and monopolar diathermy on the right; (2) 30 patients underwent radiofrequency coblation technique on the left side and ultrasound reduction on the right. We studied 20 preoperative specimens of the inferior turbinate mucosa taken randomly from both groups of patients, 5 from each side of each group. Normal nasal mucosal specimens taken from ten healthy persons were used as controls. Specimens of the inferior turbinate were taken after 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery, from the same patients. All specimens were examined by electron microscopy. Preoperative observation revealed degeneration of epithelial cells, loss of cilia, disruption of intercellular connections, edema, nasal mucus overproduction and inflammatory infiltration in chorium. Postoperative observations revealed decrease of intercellular edema, reduction of mucus, overproduction of collagen and degeneration of the epithelium to flattened stratified. Only specimens after use of ultrasounds showed islands with normally organized epithelium of columnar ciliated cells. It may be concluded that epithelial changes owed to chronic hypertrophic rhinitis do not significantly improve postoperatively after turbinate tissue volume reduction. Only in several cases operated with ultrasounds, regeneration of epithelium occurs, resulting to anatomical and functional restoration of the nasal physiology.

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