Nasal polyposis has been a source of suffering for patients and a vexing problem for doctors. Polyps are associated with so many different conditions-from aspirin intolerance to infections-so figuring out the body’s processes that bring polyposis about has been a tall order. That complexity has also made treating the condition difficult.
Explore this issue:October 2009
Progress is being made in defining polyps’ pathogenesis, but there might still be a long way to go. We are still far away, said Anders Cervin, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Lund University in Sweden, whose work has included polyp research. Polyps are probably just a common response to an inflammatory process and they, in all likelihood, have several different etiologies-for example, polyps associated with aspirin intolerance, polyps associated with asthma, polyps associated with infection, et cetera.
Autopsy studies suggest that approximately 2% of the population suffers from polyps, said Robert Kern, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. So, assuming that about 10% of the population suffers from sinusitis, about a quarter of them have polyps-which diminish the sense of smell, among other effects.