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BACKGROUND: Nasal polyposis can lead to olfactory dysfunction, either due to physical obstruction of the olfactory cleft or physiological disruption of the olfactory neuroepithelium. Where medical therapy has failed to relieve symptoms of nasal polyposis, surgical excision can be considered. However, removal of polyps medial to the middle turbinate is controversial: some believe this will relieve physical obstruction to odourants, others state that removal here risks excising olfactory neuroepithelium. METHODS: We stained 25 nasal polypectomy samples from the area medial to the middle turbinate with olfactory marker protein. RESULTS: We confirmed that our staining method worked on normal olfactory tissue. However, no positive staining of nasal polyps was demonstrated. CONCLUSION: We conclude that nasal polyps medial to the middle turbinate do not contain olfactory neurons, and surgical excision is not contraindicated.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





185 - 189


Aged, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Middle Aged, Nasal Polyps, Olfaction Disorders, Olfactory Marker Protein, Olfactory Mucosa