, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 143-149
Date: 28 Mar 2010

Global Airway Disease Beyond Allergy

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Besides the anatomic continuity of the upper and lower airways, inflammation in one part of the airway influences the homeostasis of the other. The mechanisms underlying this interaction have been studied primarily in allergic disease, showing systemic immune activation, induction of inflammation at a distance, and a negative impact of nasal inflammation on bronchial homeostasis. In addition to allergy, other inflammatory conditions of the upper airways are associated with lower airway disease. Rhinosinusitis is frequently associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The impairment of purification, humidification, and warming up of the inspired air by the nose in rhinosinusitis may be responsible in part for bronchial pathology. The resolution of sinonasal inflammation via medical and/or surgical treatment is responsible for the beneficial effect of the treatment on bronchial disease. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of upper and lower airway communication beyond allergic disease.