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Pediatric Nasal Polyps

Practice Essentials

Broadly defined, nasal polyps are abnormal lesions that originate from any portion of the nasal mucosa or paranasal sinuses. Polyps are an end result of varying disease processes in the nasal cavities. The most commonly discussed polyps are benign semitransparent nasal lesions that arise from the mucosa of the nasal cavity or from one or more of the paranasal sinuses, often at the outflow tract of the sinuses.

Multiple polyps can occur in children with chronic sinusitisallergic rhinitiscystic fibrosis (CF), or allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS). An individual polyp could be an antral-choanal polyp, a benign massive polyp, or any benign or malignant tumor (eg, encephalocele, glioma, hemangioma, papilloma, juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma, rhabdomyosarcoma, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, sarcoma, chordoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, inverting papilloma). All children with benign multiple nasal polyposis should be evaluated for CF and asthma. Educating patients about the chronicity of the disease is important to make them aware of the recurrent nature of the problem.

Oral and topical nasal steroid administration is the primary medical therapy for nasal polyposis. Surgical intervention is required for children with multiple benign nasal polyposis or chronic rhinosinusitis in whom maximal medical therapy fails.

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