Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a heterogeneous inflammatory airway disease involving non-eosinophilic and eosinophilic phenotypes, which translate to various endotypes. Activated eosinophils and neutrophils are known to generate extracellular traps consisting of DNA and cytotoxic granule proteins. We sought to investigate the presence of eosinophil and neutrophil extracellular traps (EETs and NETs, respectively) in human CRS tissues and to clarify the associations with their clinical features. Nasal polyp (NP) or ethmoid tissue slides of 43 subjects from endoscopic sinus surgery for CRS were analysed. Quantitative analysis of EETs and NETs was performed by confocal microscopy using immunofluorescent staining. For correlation study, the presence of NPs, number of infiltrating tissue eosinophils, preoperative Lund–Mackay scores, and other comorbidities were analysed. EET formation was observed to varying degrees in all CRS groups and was correlated with the number of tissue eosinophils (r = 0.83, p < 0.001) regardless of the presence of NPs. Patients with more EETs demonstrated higher Lund–Mackay scores (r = 0.51, p = 0.009), blood eosinophilia (r = 0.80, p < 0.001), and decreased olfactory function (r = −0.65, p < 0.001). No correlation between the extent of EET formation and the presence of atopy or asthma was apparent. However, none of the CRS groups containing neutrophils formed NETs in this study. Eosinophilic CRS indicates the presence of EETs. Formation of EETs could have a role in clinical decision-making and prediction of treatment outcome of CRS, regardless of NP status.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
C.S. Hwang received funding from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (2018R1C1B6006186). The funding source had no role in the study design, data collection or analysis, manuscript preparation, or the decision to publish.
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