What causes sinus disease in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF)?

Updated: Sep 28, 2020
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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The exact mechanism by which malfunctioning CFTR causes sinus disease is not completely understood. Chloride ions cannot be excreted, sodium is excessively absorbed, and water passively follows. This desiccates the mucosal surface and alters the viscosity of the normal mucus blanket, which alone can lead to obstruction of sinus ostia. [6]

Additional abnormalities exist in these patients, including ciliary dysfunction, increased inflammatory mediators, and increased colonization with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, all of which further impair normal sinus clearance and aeration. [7] Chronic sinus infection and inflammation are the net result.

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