Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator gene(CFTR) resulting in impaired ion transport. Nearly all people with CF will develop chronic rhino-sinusitis (CRS) and present with the characteristic viscous mucus, impaired mucociliary clearance and chronic inflammation/infection of the sinonasal cavity. While some individuals with CF can appear relatively asymptomatic in terms of their sinus disease, commonly reported symptoms include anosmia, headache, facial pain, nasal obstruction, chronic congestion and nasal discharge. Nasal endoscopy typically reveals mucosal edema, purulent discharge and nasal polyposis. Computed tomography (CT) imaging classically demonstrates the distinguishing findings of sinus hypoplasia or aplasia with generalized opacification, medial bulging of the lateral sinonasal sidewall and a demineralized uncinate process. Current treatment for CF sinusitis includes the use of hypertonic saline, topical and systemic steroids, antibiotics and endoscopic surgery. Research investigating novel therapies designed at targeting the primary defect of CF is showing promise for reversal of CF sinus disease, in addition to potential for disease prevention.
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