a1 Department of Otolaryngology, The General Infirmary at Leeds, and York District Hospital.
a2 Department of Histopathology, The General Infirmary at Leeds, and York District Hospital.
Mast cells are a rich source of potent biologically active mediators and are found in connective tissue, associated with blood vessels in many varied inflammatory conditions. Mast cells have been described in nasal polyps and turbinates and in adenoidal tissue in the upper aerodigestive tract. As the middle ear lining is contiguous with the nose and the nasopharynx, the presence of mast cells in aural polyps is interesting.
This preliminary study investigated the presence of mast cells in inflammatory aural polyps using light microscopy. All patients presenting to the department in one year were included. Patients with previous ear disease or surgery and in whom cholesteatoma was suspected were excluded. Except for one patient mast cells were seen in all aural polyps. The implications of these findings is discussed. Further work is needed using electron microscopy.
(Accepted January 08 1995)
c1 Address for correspondence: Mr S. S. M. Hussain, Department of ENT Surgery, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Great George Street, Leeds LSI 3EX.