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Influence of metals on rhinosinusal polyposis in Sardinian population (Italy)


Metals have strong toxic effects in humans and can act as immunoregulatory factors. The purpose of our study was to determine whether the concentrations of metals are associated with the clinical course of nasal polyposis (NP). We measured the concentrations of 10 metals and non-metal (Zn, Mn, Se, Fe, Cr, Ni, Pb, Al, Cd, and Cu) in 58 patients with NP, and 29 controls with a healthy nasal mucosa. We used electron microscopy to compare the ultrastructural features of the nasal mucosa between NP patients and healthy controls. Concentrations of metals in nasal polyps and healthy mucosa were determined by mass spectrometry. Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images of the nasal mucosa were obtained. The mean tissue concentrations of all 10 metals and non-metal were significantly lower in NP patients than in healthy controls (P < 0.05).TEM and SEM revealed changes in the mucosal ultrastructure in NP with progressive fibrosis, devascularisation, and inflammation. Tissue concentrations of metals were lower in NP patients than in healthy controls, and this was particularly evident in massive polyposis.

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This study was partly supported by “Fondazione Banco di Sardegna”, Grant No. U1044.2013/AI.967. MGB–PRAT. 2013.1452.

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Correspondence to Roberto Madeddu.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Yolande Asara and Andrea Melis contributed equally to the paper.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Asara, Y., Melis, A., De Luca, L.M. et al. Influence of metals on rhinosinusal polyposis in Sardinian population (Italy). Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 21726–21732 (2016).

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  • Nasal polyps
  • Metals
  • Electron microscopy