Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is defined as inflammatory disease of the sinuses that lasts for more than eight weeks; however, a specific etiology of this complex condition remains largely unknown. Fungus, biofilms, and superantigens, whether alone or in combination, are some of the many potential causes being explored, say experts. Other causes may include allergens, viruses, or genetic factors.
Explore this issue:September 2006
The disease is multifactorial and feeds into a common pathway that is not static and creates varying amounts of symptoms, said James Palmer, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rhinology and Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
Theories surrounding the causes of CRS, whether airborne fungi, biofilms, or superantigens, all have their merits and downfalls, and researchers don’t know if any of these actually cause the condition, added Dr. Palmer. They are all threads of truth in a big tapestry picture of the disease, he said.