CRSwNP Increases Asthma Attacks, Corticosteroid Usage


A recent Italian study sought to understand how patients with asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) compared to patients with asthma without any other condition. They examined how CRSwNP impacted flareups, overall health, and corticosteroid usage. Ultimately, researchers determined that patients with both asthma and CRSwNP had worse asthma flareups and longer corticosteroid usage, alongside other conditions. The full findings are published in Respiratory Medicine.

Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyposis (CRSwNP)

According to an article in American Family Physician, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammatory condition that impacts the paranasal sinuses. It occurs in up to 5% of American citizens. CRS causes the sinuses to swell up for over 3 months, leading to difficulty breathing or draining mucus. In most cases, CRS is somewhat treatment resistant. Symptoms include:

  • Nasal inflammation or obstruction
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Postnasal drip (which could result in a sore throat)
  • Fatigue
  • Ear and jaw pain
  • Bad breath
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Pain and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, and nose

In some cases, CRS can occur with nasal polyposis (NP). Nasal polyposis causes nasal polyps (benign growths) to develop in the nasal passages and sinuses. This condition most commonly occurs with adults and is associated with infections, allergies, immune disorders, drug sensitivities, asthma, and sinusitis. Nasal polyps don’t cause any sensations, so symptoms generally won’t appear unless they block the nasal passages. If someone does experience symptoms, they might feel:

  • A persistent stuffy or runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Snoring or sleep apnea
  • Facial pain and pressure

So, CRSwNP occurs when people experience long-term nasal inflammation, alongside the development of nasal polyps.

The Study

This Italian study analyzed 695 patients with severe asthma from the Severe Asthma Network Italy registry. The mean age was 54.9 years old. Some of the findings included:

  • 40.6% (282 patients) had CRSwNP. 59.4% (413 patients) did not.
  • Patients with and without CRSwNP shared similar ages, asthma onset, body mass index, and sex distribution.
  • Patients with CRSwNP were more likely to have atopic dermatitis and bronchiectasis.
    • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is characterized by a scaly, red rash on the arms and legs (though it can appear anywhere on the body).
      • 8.6% (24 patients) with CRSwNP had atopic dermatitis, versus 3.4% (14 patients) without.
    • Bronchiectasis is a respiratory condition which causes damage to the bronchial tubes, allowing for the buildup of bacteria. Learn more here.
      • 20.9% (59 patients) with CRSwNP had bronchiectasis, versus 11.9% (49 patients) without.
  • Patients with CRSwNP were also found to have more asthma attacks throughout the year, more corticosteroid usage, and longer corticosteroid usage.

As a result, patients with both asthma and CRSwNP should speak to their doctor about potential treatment options to preserve quality of life.

Read the source article here.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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