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Nasal Polyps

Nasal Polyps is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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  • Chronic inflammatory lesion of nasal mucosa
  • Arise from ethmoidal cells but can arise from maxillary sinus mucosa although less common


  • Appearance of edematous pedunculated mass in the nasal cavity or within the paranasal sinus
  • Often causes symptoms of blockage, discharge, or loss of smell
  • Most commonly bilateral; if unilateral, malignancy should be on differential.


  • ~4% in general population
  • Much rarer in children: ~0.1% and associated with cystic fibrosis
  • Increases with age
  • Female > male (2:1)
  • Asthma is present in 65% of patients.

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • No clearly delineated pathway; research has demonstrated separate TH1- and TH2-driven pathways (1)[B].
  • Development of condition remains unclear; multiple inflammatory and infectious pathways resulting from chronic rhinosinusitis is most common.

General Prevention

Use of intranasal corticosteroids after polyp removal surgery has shown effectiveness against recurrence.

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Aspirin hypersensitivity
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergic fungal sinusitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia (Kartagener syndrome)
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux

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Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Nasal Polyps." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116963/all/Nasal_Polyps.
Nasal Polyps. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116963/all/Nasal_Polyps. Accessed July 19, 2019.
Nasal Polyps. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116963/all/Nasal_Polyps
Nasal Polyps [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 July 19]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116963/all/Nasal_Polyps.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Nasal Polyps ID - 116963 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116963/all/Nasal_Polyps PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -