Evaluating the Nasal Cytology in Acute Rhinosinusitis

  • Juliana R Moskowitz Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Jacqueline K Shaia Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • James R Schwebach Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA


Rhinitis has been found to have profound direct and indirect negative effects on business including costs attributed to loss of productivity and the amount of over the counter medications consumed. Several other studies have examined the immune system’s response in immunocompromised patients by using nasal cytology. This study focused on nasal cytology for a common illness such as acute rhinosinusitis (ARS), in otherwise healthy individuals. Most studies have used nasal cytology to analyze immunocompromised patients, however, this study considers otherwise healthy patients in order to better understand the basic immune response. This study aimed to examine the relationship between neutrophil frequencies found over the course of ARS and symptom severity experienced by subjects. Nasal smears were obtained from subjects at days five, nine, and fourteen of their ARS symptoms. A published symptom survey for ARS was given to participants to provide a qualifying score, a high enough level of infection, for this study. This survey monitored both emotional and physical symptoms throughout the fourteen-day illness period. Nasal smears were obtained on each visit and stained to observe the different cells present. Wilcoxon Sum Rank Tests were found to be significant between all symptom score visits 1,2, and 3 (p<0.05). The average neutrophil counts between all the visits were not significant (p>0.05). Less than ten percent of eosinophils were present in 88.89 percent of subjects. 55.5 percent of subjects did follow an increased amount of neutrophils over the course of their illness. This study reinforces the use of nasal cytology by obtaining nasal smears to demonstrate how neutrophil frequencies change with symptom severity.

Keywords: nasal smear, cell cytology, rhinitis, acute rhinosinusitis, sinusitis, nasal cytology


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Graduate Research Articles
How to Cite
J. Moskowitz, J. Shaia, and J. Schwebach, “Evaluating the Nasal Cytology in Acute Rhinosinusitis”, Advanced Journal of Graduate Research, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 41-46, Apr. 2018.

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