European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 266, Issue 8, pp 1249–1256 | Cite as

Allergic and idiopathic rhinitis: an ultrastructural study

  • Stephan Knipping
  • H. J. Holzhausen
  • A. Riederer
  • T. Schrom


Nasal hyperreactivity is one of the most important underlying mechanisms in both allergic (AR) and idiopathic rhinitis (IR). In order to study the pathomorphological changes in this entity, tissue samples from patients with AR, IR, and from patients without chronic inflammation were taken during nasal surgery. Primary antibodies against Substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and endothelial nitric oxide synthases (NOS III) were applied and the immunocomplexes were visualized by immunocytochemistry. The nasal mucosa of patients with AR and IR showed similarities on the ultrastructural level. Neurogenic inflammation was indicated by a strong innervation pattern with sensory nerve fibers containing SP and CGRP. We could show that extensive edema and cellular infiltration might be characteristic for AR. On other hand there was no evidence of eosinophilic or NO involvement in IR. Finally, on the ultrastructural level, AR and IR showed many similarities. Based on these findings anti-inflammatory therapy modalities could be recommended for both types of rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis Nasal mucosa Idiopathic rhinitis Electron microscopy Immunoelectron microscopy 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. Vogtlaender, Mrs. B. Wolfsteller, and Mrs. K. Kriese for the technical assistance. Financial support was provided by the German Research Society (DFG, KN 501/1-2).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Knipping
    • 1
  • H. J. Holzhausen
    • 2
  • A. Riederer
    • 3
  • T. Schrom
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryMartin Luther University Halle WittenbergHalleGermany
  2. 2.Pathological InstituteMartin Luther University Halle WittenbergHalleGermany
  3. 3.Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryLudwig Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryHelios Bad SaarowBad SaarowGermany

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