Background: We previously presented that women with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) who elected endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) have a higher symptom burden than men. Causes of these gender-based differences warranted further study. Objectives: To study gender differences in another cohort of adult patients with CRS who underwent ESS and to compare key histopathologic and serologic features Methods: Patients with CRS who underwent ESS (from 2011 to 2014) with structured histopathology reports on surgical samples were studied. The 13-item structured histopathology report detailed key metrics of inflammation and the presence of fungal elements. Clinical, 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) score, Lund-Mackay computed tomography (CT) score, serologic (immunoglobulin E [IgE] level, absolute eosinophil count) and histopathologic data were compared between male and female patients by using statistical software. Results: We studied 130 eligible subjects (mean age, 54.7 years; 49.2% women). Compared with the men, the women had significantly higher preoperative SNOT-22 scores (women, 48.7; men 38.0 [p = 0.004]) but similar CT scores. Serum IgE levels were significantly higher among women versus men (peak, 433.3 versus 190.8 kU/L [p = 0.03]; closest to surgery, 435.0 versus 190.8 kU/L [p = 0.03]). Tissue fungal elements were significantly more prevalent in women versus men (19.0 versus 5.2%; p = 0.02). Up to this point, the analysis was agnostic of clinical details of the subjects. Further analysis was conducted regarding clinical features. Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) was found significantly more commonly in the female versus male patients (21.9 versus 9.1%; p = 0.04). Women versus men had a higher prevalence of migraine (19.4 versus 4.6%; p = 0.01) or any primary headache disorders (23.0 versus 6.2%; p = 0.007). Conclusion: Women who underwent ESS for CRS had higher SNOT-22 symptom burden. Worsened symptomatology may be secondary to a higher prevalence of primary headache disorders in women. However, surgeons should also be aware that female patients with CRS who seek ESS may have a higher prevalence of severe disease endotypes (more tissue fungal elements, elevated serum IgE levels) and phenotypes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy