February 1997

Antioxidant Levels in the Nasal Mucosa of Patients With Chronic Sinusitis and Healthy Controls

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit (Drs Westerveld and Scheeren), and the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Department of Pharmacochemistry, Division of Molecular Pharmacology, Vrije Universiteit (Ms Dekker and Drs Voss and Bast), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(2):201-204. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900020089013

Background:  Imbalances between oxidant formation and antioxidative defense are associated with the pathogenesis of several chronic inflammatory disorders of the respiratory tract. Therefore, a role of oxidative stress in chronic upper airway tract infections can be anticipated.

Objective:  To determine if patients with chronic sinusitis demonstrate a reduced antioxidative tissue status.

Design:  The levels of 3 biologically important antioxidants, reduced glutathione and oxidized glutathione, uric acid, and vitamin E, were determined biochemically in mucosal biopsy specimens from the uncinate process of patients with chronic sinusitis and healthy controls.

Subjects:  Inflamed mucosa samples were obtained from 9 patients with chronic sinusitis during functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Normal mucosa samples were collected from 10 healthy controls during surgery for nasal obstruction.

Results:  The data (presented as mean±SD) show a significant reduction (P≤.05) of reduced glutathione levels (0.3±0.1 μmol/g wet weight) and uric acid levels (2.7±0.4 μmol/g wet weight) in mucosa samples obtained from patients with chronic sinusitis compared with healthy controls (0.6±0.2 and 3.4±0.6 μmol/g wet weight, respectively). No difference was found in oxidized glutathione (24±8 vs 25±15 nmol/g wet weight) and vitamin E (20.5±7.9 vs 22.5±6.9 nmol/g wet weight) levels between both groups.

Conclusions:  Decreased levels of both reduced glutathione and uric acid in patients with chronic sinusitis lead to a diminished antioxidant defense, which may be associated with the pathogenesis of upper respiratory tract disorders. The vitamin E level seems less important. This finding may offer perspectives for pharmacotherapeutic intervention with antioxidants.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:201-204