Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a complex inflammatory disease of the upper respiratory airways resulting from the dysregulation of immunity and epithelial defenses. More recently, the contribution of an altered nasal microbiome to the development of CRS has also been proposed. However, the impact of aging on the development of CRS has been long overlooked. Here we propose, in a hypothesis piece, that aging can influence the physiopathology of CRS and its subsequent management in an elderly population.Data Sources
We summarize the recent literature findings supporting that elderly patients with CRS could be a distinct population from those with adult CRS and might require different or adjunct therapeutic approaches.Methods
Review of recent literature of the effect of aging and its possible effects in CRS using 3 different databases.Conclusions
Age-dependent decrease in the levels of the S100 family proteins involved in epithelial proliferation, repair, and defenses combined with chronic inflammation might lead to an increased risk of abnormal microbial colonization and loss of microbiota diversity. Ultimately, these changes could have the potential to alter the physiopathology of CRS in the elderly.Implications
Unlike in adults, in whom CRS Th2-skewed responses with eosinophilia are thought to play a critical role, in aging populations, a microbiome and epithelial barrier dysfunctions may instead be the pivotal agents of disease development and persistence. This supports that therapies for elderly patients may require a different management or additional targeted therapies to control the disease. Prospective studies, however, are necessary to validate this concept.