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Effects of CF: Sinus

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The upper respiratory tract—the nose, nasal passages or sinuses, and the pharynx—filters and warms the air. Several abnormalities, such as nasal polyps and excess tissue growth in the nasal cavity, may affect people with CF. Polyps are common in CF, but are usually not a problem unless they obstruct the nasal passage.

Compare the normal sinuses to sinuses with CF by toggling between the two buttons in the menu above.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis occurs when abnormally thick mucus leads to sinus secretions that become infected and cause inflammation. As in the lungs, mucus in the sinuses cannot be cleared; promoting accumulation of bacteria and inflammation that stimulates more mucus production. Often, the sinuses are colonized with bacteria similar to the bacteria found in the lungs. 

Chronic sinusitis
Low grade fevers, changes in nasal discharge, nasal polyps and lethargy.
Antibiotics, nasal saline sprays, nasal steroids, nasal irrigation and surgical drainage.

Treatment of chronic sinusitis either by prolonged antibiotics and/or surgery is important prior to lung transplants as untreated sinusitis may predispose patients to lung infections after the surgery.

CT scan

A CT scan of a child with CF shows that the right maxillary sinus is completely filled with mucus.