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Histology of nasal mucosa in untreated obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and during nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy



Histology of nasal mucosa in untreated obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and during nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy



FASEB Journal 16(4): A359-A360



Epon-embedded semi-thin sections of middle turbinate biopsies from 35 male patients with OSAS were compared with those of 11 healthy men (age 51-75 years, all groups). In untreated OSAS-patients atrophic epithelium is common. Subepithelial glands are diminished. Dense round cell infiltrates preveal in the submucosa. After short-time NCPAP-therapy (mean 462 h) small islands of ciliated and squamous epithelium reappear. The submucosal cellular infiltrates vanish almost completely. During long-term NCPAP (mean 6575 h) squamous epithelium predominates. Ciliated pseudostratified epithelium is missing. High vascular papillae are most frequent. Ectatic subepithelial vessels are observed. Thickness of surface epithelium increases but that of basement membrane remains stable. The inflammatory response in untreated OSAS can explain the frequency of rhinitic symptoms and may contribute to the narrowing of the upper airway. Short-term NCPAP restores the mucosal architecture partially and reduces the submucosal oedema. Long-term treatment has traumatic effects, resulting in squamous metaplasia and thickening of surface epithelium, both responsible for nasal drying and crusting.

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Accession: 035041523

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