Background: The pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has been found to be multifactorial, with environmental, general host, and local anatomic factors all contributing to its development. Recent studies have indicated that local osteitis of the underlying bone also may play a critical role in the elaboration of CRS by inducing persistent inflammatory changes in the surrounding mucosa. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical incidence rate of osteitis in patients with CRS undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Methods: From January to July 2003, a prospective study was performed on 121 patients undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery for CRS. Age, number of previous surgeries, radiographic bony characteristics, and pathological findings were all documented. The presence of concurrent osteitis was assessed using both radiographic (neoosteogenesis) and pathological (bony remodeling) criteria. Results: The mean age of the patients was 44.3 years. Fifty-eight percent of the cases were revision surgeries, with each patient having an average of 2.2 operative procedures in the past. Computed tomography (CT) showed neoosteogenesis in 36% of patients, and 53% showed pathological evidence of osteitis on histological analysis of surgical specimens. Conclusion: Concurrent osteitis can be found in 36-53% of patients with CRS, using both radiographic and pathological criteria, respectively. Although a causal relationship between osteitis and CRS can not be inferred from this data, these clinical findings correlate well with previous evidence of bone involvement in CRS found in animal models, further reaffirming the association between underlying osteitis and the pathogenesis of CRS.
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