What is the role of lab tests in the workup of pediatric nasal polyps?

Updated: Oct 25, 2019
  • Author: John E McClay, MD; Chief Editor: Ravindhra G Elluru, MD, PhD  more...
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Laboratory studies should be directed at the pathologic process believed to be responsible for the nasal polyps.

Children with polyposis that is associated with allergic rhinitis should undergo evaluation for their allergies; this may include a serologic radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or some form of allergic skin testing. Mabry et al showed a decrease in the recurrence rate of polyps in children treated with immunotherapy directed at all antigens for which they are allergic, especially molds [10] ; therefore, allergy testing and treatment may be important in treating allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS).

Perform a sweat chloride test or genetic testing for cystic fibrosis (CF) in any child with multiple benign nasal polyps.

A nasal smear for eosinophils may differentiate allergic from nonallergic sinus diseases and indicate whether the child may be responsive to glucocorticoids. The presence of neutrophils may indicate chronic sinusitis.

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