Objective: Although there is no consensus regarding the etiology of paranasal mucous retention cysts (MRCs) in the literature, several studies suggest an allergic etiology. This study aimed to investigate a potential association between paranasal MRCs diagnosed with MRI scans and allergic sensitization in the pediatric population.
Materials and Methods: A total of 4559 MRI scans were retrospectively evaluated for MRC in patients who presented to the pediatric neurology outpatient clinic with headache complaints. Fifty children with MRI findings conclusive for paranasal MRC and 50 children without such findings were included in the study. All study and control patients were invited for atopy/allergy evaluation. Total IgE measurements, blood eosinophil levels, nasal smear and skin prick tests were performed to evaluate the allergic status of the children. In addition, an allergic rhinitis symptom questionnaire was administered.
Results: The mean age was 13.0±2.8 years (median 14 y, range 6-18 y) with a female-to-male ratio of 1.4:1 in the study group. The prevalence of MRC was found to be 1.1% (50 in 4559). The two groups did not differ with regard to the frequency of blood eosinophilia, nasal eosinophilia, serum IgE levels, and allergic rhinitis symptom severity (p>0.05). Positive skin test for at least one of the allergens tested was more common in the MRC group than the controls (40% vs. 16%, p=0.007). Multivariate analysis identified that a positive skin prick test for at least one allergen was a significant independent predictor of MRC (OR, 4.6; 95% CI 1.2-17.0, p=0.023).
Conclusion: Our study showed that paranasal MRCs were significantly more frequent in atopic children compared to controls. Additionally, MRCs were found to be strongly associated with allergic sensitization.