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Nasal polyposis

Last updated: 25th Jul 2024

Nasal polyposis

What is nasal polyposis?

Nasal polyposis is a condition characterised by the presence of multiple nasal polyps on the lining of the nasal passages and sinuses. Nasal polyps are benign growths or swellings that can be caused by chronic inflammation, recurring infections, and drug sensitivity1. Symptoms of nasal polyposis include nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, facial pain, and a reduced sense of smell (anosmia) or taste. Nasal polyp complications include obstructive sleep apnoea, asthma flare ups, and sinus infections.

What conditions are associated with nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are associated with inflammatory conditions including asthma and allergic rhinitis or chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), often referred to as chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP)2. Asthma and CRSwNP often coexist, sharing pathophysiological mechanisms of inflammation that may underpin nasal polyp formation2,3. Other conditions associated with nasal polyposis include cystic fibrosis and Churg-Strauss syndrome4.

How is nasal polyposis treated?

Nasal saline irrigation and nasal sprays or drops containing corticosteroids may be used to prevent and shrink nasal polyps1. Managing factors or conditions that are associated with nasal polyp formation, such as allergens or inflammatory conditions including asthma and CRSwNP may also help control nasal polyp formation3. In cases where steroids are ineffective, surgery to remove nasal polyps can help to relieve symptoms1,3.

Can refractory nasal polyposis be treated?

Refractory nasal polyps can be treated with biologic treatments (monoclonal antibodies) that target some of the inflammatory processes underlying both asthma and allergic rhinitis1,3.

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References

  1. del Toro E, Portela J. Nasal Polyps. 2020. StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. PMID: 32809581. Accessed March 8, 2021.
  2. Castillo Vizuete JA, Sastre J, Del Cuvillo Bernal A, Picado C, Martínez Moragón E, Ignacio García JM et al. Asthma, rhinitis, and nasal polyp multimorbidities. Arch Bronconeumol. 2019;55(3):146–155.
  3. Bachert C, Zhang N, Cavaliere C, Weiping W, Gevaert E, Krysko O. Biologics for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020;145(3):725–739.
  4. Ta NH. Will we ever cure nasal polyps? Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2019;101(1):35–39.