Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis

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Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) is a subset of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) characterized by antifungal IgE sensitivity, eosinophil-rich mucus (ie, allergic mucin), and characteristic computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging findings in paranasal sinuses. AFRS develops in immunocompetent patients, with occurrence influenced by climate, geography, and several identified host factors. Molecular pathways and immune responses driving AFRS are still being delineated, but prominent adaptive and more recently recognized innate type 2 immune responses are important, many similar to those established in patients with other forms of CRSwNP. It is unclear whether AFRS represents merely a more extreme expression of pathways important in patients with CRSwNP or whether there are other disordered immune responses that would define a distinct endotype or endotypes. Although AFRS and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis share some analogous immune mechanisms, the 2 conditions do not occur commonly in the same patient. Treatment of AFRS almost always requires surgical debridement of the involved sinuses. Oral corticosteroids decrease recurrence after surgery, but other adjunctive pharmacologic agents, including topical and oral antifungal agents, do not have a firm evidence basis for use. There is good rationale for use of biologic agents that target eosinophilic inflammation or other type 2 responses, but studies in patients with AFRS are required.

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