Unsupervised network mapping of commercially available immunoassay yields three distinct chronic rhinosinusitis endotypes

Rohit Divekar, Matthew Rank, Diane Squillace, Hirohito Kita, Devyani Lal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Endotyping chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) through simplified cytokine assays may help direct individualized therapy such as corticosteroids, antibiotics, or biologics. We performed an unsupervised network analysis to endotype CRS and control subjects using a commercially available cytokine-chemokine immunoassay. Methods: A 41-plex cytokine-chemokine array along with major basic protein (MBP) assay was performed on sinonasal surgical tissue of 32 adults. Subjects were defined as non-CRS controls (n = 6), CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP; n = 13), and CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP; n = 13). Unsupervised network modeling was performed to reveal association cytokine-chemokine (“analyte”) clusters and “subject” groups. Results: Network mapping and unsupervised clustering revealed 3 analyte clusters and 3 subject groups. Analyte cluster-1 was composed of T helper 1 (Th1)/Th17 type markers, analyte cluster-2 Th2 markers, and analyte cluster-3 chemokines (CC) and growth factors (GF). Subject group-1 was devoid of CRSwNP, had fewer asthmatics, and was associated most strongly with analyte cluster-3 (CC/GF) (p < 0.001). Subject group-2 was characterized with the most asthmatics (86%) and CRSwNP (100%) patients, and was associated with analyte cluster-2 (Th2; p < 0.001). Subject group-3 was associated with both analyte cluster-1 (Th1/Th17) and analyte cluster-3 (CC/GF) (p < 0.001), and had the highest proportion of CRSsNP patients (62.5%). Tissue levels of MBP, eosinophilia, and computed tomography (CT) scores were significantly higher in subject group-2 vs other groups (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: An unbiased network-mapping approach using a commercially available immunoassay kit reveals 3 distinct tissue cytokine-chemokine signatures that endotype CRS patients and controls. These signatures are prominent even in a limited number of patients, and may help formulate individualized therapy and optimize outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • CRS
  • chronic rhinosinusitis endotypes
  • immunoassay
  • network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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