Nasal brushing has sometimes been used to characterize some affections of the respiratory tract, but seldom employed in chronic diseases such as asthma, for the possible presence of cellular inflammation in the small specimens used for electron microscopy. The present study evaluated the ultrastructure of epithelial cells obtained by nasal brushing in 11 allergic children with asthma, before and after staying in an environment free of allergens, usually implicated in the genesis of inflammatory events. The ultrastructural alterations of the nasal mucosa have been graded on the basis of their severity. Grade I lesions were characterized by well-differentiated mucous and ciliated cells. The ciliated cells appeared usually well preserved but decreased in number. In grade II lesions, most of the epithelial surface was covered by mucous cells. A further phenotype composed of poorly differentiated ciliated or mucous cells was detected. Grade III lesions showed aspects of depletion of the ciliated and mucous cells. The epithelium was largely composed of undifferentiated cells. Furthermore, the comparison of specimens at 2 different times of sampling did not differ. The data demonstrate that in allergic children with asthma, the nasal mucosa showed ultrastructural changes, which appeared to be unmodifiable during a prolonged stay in an environment free of allergens. Moreover, the nasal epithelium may provide a convenient sampling site, allowing grade of mucosal damage, with the benefit that the brush method is minimally invasive and avoids complications related to bronchoscopic examination.

The ultrastructure of nasal mucosa in children with asthma.

MERIGO, Flavia;BENATI, Donatella;PIACENTINI, Giorgio;BONER, Attilio;SBARBATI, Andrea
2002

Abstract

Nasal brushing has sometimes been used to characterize some affections of the respiratory tract, but seldom employed in chronic diseases such as asthma, for the possible presence of cellular inflammation in the small specimens used for electron microscopy. The present study evaluated the ultrastructure of epithelial cells obtained by nasal brushing in 11 allergic children with asthma, before and after staying in an environment free of allergens, usually implicated in the genesis of inflammatory events. The ultrastructural alterations of the nasal mucosa have been graded on the basis of their severity. Grade I lesions were characterized by well-differentiated mucous and ciliated cells. The ciliated cells appeared usually well preserved but decreased in number. In grade II lesions, most of the epithelial surface was covered by mucous cells. A further phenotype composed of poorly differentiated ciliated or mucous cells was detected. Grade III lesions showed aspects of depletion of the ciliated and mucous cells. The epithelium was largely composed of undifferentiated cells. Furthermore, the comparison of specimens at 2 different times of sampling did not differ. The data demonstrate that in allergic children with asthma, the nasal mucosa showed ultrastructural changes, which appeared to be unmodifiable during a prolonged stay in an environment free of allergens. Moreover, the nasal epithelium may provide a convenient sampling site, allowing grade of mucosal damage, with the benefit that the brush method is minimally invasive and avoids complications related to bronchoscopic examination.
Asthma; Electron Microscopy; Nasal Brushing; Ultrastructure
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/324464
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