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Original Article
June 2001

Chronic Bacterial Rhinosinusitis: Description of a Mouse Model

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(6):657-664. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.6.657

Objectives  To survey normal murine sinonasal anatomy and to create a mouse model for chronic bacterial rhinosinusitis.

Design  Anatomic, histologic, and pathophysiologic study displaying normal murine sinonasal anatomy and surgically created unilateral sinonasal inflammation.

Subjects  Twenty-one 6-week-old, male C57BL/6 mice.

Interventions  Animals that underwent unilateral maxillary sinus ostial obstruction using Merocel nasal packing, animals with unilateral Bacteroides fragilis inoculation alone, and animals with both ostial obstruction and bacterial inoculation were examined at 4 weeks for histologic evidence of chronic sinonasal inflammation. Experimental interventions were compared with contralateral control sinuses within each animal and with normal and sham-operated controls.

Results  Normal mouse paranasal sinuses include maxillary sinuses, ethmoid air cells, and respiratory-type epithelium. In experimental animals, the lateral maxillary sinus wall, nasal septum, and superior turbinelle of the maxillary sinus were examined histologically. Epithelial thickening and disarray, goblet cell hyperplasia, inflammatory infiltrates, and sinonasal fibrosis were present in the experimental sinuses of animals packed with Merocel alone or Merocel with bacterial inoculation. Changes seen with Merocel and bacteria were more dramatic than those with Merocel alone. Sham-operated controls and sinuses inoculated with bacteria alone did not differ significantly from the sinuses of normal animals.

Conclusion  Unilateral maxillary sinus ostial obstruction using Merocel nasal packing along with B fragilis inoculation results in a persistent, localized bacterial rhinosinusitis in mice.