Respiratory viral detection in the paranasal sinuses of patients with cystic fibrosis

Nicholas R. Rowan, Eric W. Wang, Alyssa Kanaan, Nivedita Sahu, John V. Williams, Caleb D. Phillips, Stella E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary colonization with antibiotic-resistant organisms in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is often preceded by upper-airway infections. Although there is a well-described relationship between pulmonary respiratory viral infections and overall disease progression of CF, the pathogenicity of respiratory viral infections in the paranasal sinuses of patients with CF remains unknown. With recent advances in respiratory virus detection techniques, this study sought to detect the presence of respiratory viruses in the paranasal sinuses of patients with CF in comparison with healthy controls and to correlate the viral presence with clinical measures of sinonasal disease. Methods: This prospective individual cohort study compared 24 patients with CF with 14 healthy controls. Basic demographics, clinical measures of disease and respiratory viral screens (commercial multiplex) obtained directly from the paranasal sinuses were compared between the two groups. Results: Respiratory viruses were detected in 33% of patients with CF (8/24) compared with 0% of the healthy controls (0/14) (p = 0.017). Respiratory viruses were only detected during the winter months, and the most commonly identified were influenza A and human rhinovirus strains. There was no statistical difference in the 22-Item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) scores (p = 0.93) or modified Lund-Kennedy scores (p = 0.74) between patients with CF with a positive viral test and those without a positive result. Conclusions: Respiratory viral detection is more commonly detected in the paranasal sinuses of patients with CF compared with healthy controls. Although respiratory viral presence did not correlate with a worse clinical severity of sinonasal disease, these findings may provide insight into the pathophysiology of CF and open new avenues for potential targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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