Olfactory cleft mucus galectin-10 and olfactory loss in chronic rhinosinusitis

According to the results of a study recently published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Eosinophils may be involved in the olfactory fluctuation occurring in CRS, and the protein galectin-10 – which is often linked to type 2 inflammation – may be an indicator of intense eosinophil activation. Notably, more than 80% of CRS patients have olfactory dysfunction (OD). Researchers in China have hypothesized that analyzing galectin-10 levels in olfactory cleft mucus could help identify patients at risk for adverse olfactory events and possibly lead to future treatments targeting galectin- 10. They therefore chose to study the levels of olfactory mucosa galectin-10 and olfactory cleft mucus and their association with OD in CRS.

The researchers conducted a prospective study of 65 adult patients hospitalized from January 2021 to October 2021. The patient cohort included 50 patients with CRS hospitalized for endoscopic sinus surgery and 15 control patients without CRS hospitalized for deviated septum surgery. Superior turbinate and olfactory cleft mucus biopsies were taken from all patients, and all patients underwent nasal endoscopy and computed tomography (CT) within one week prior to study enrollment. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the predictability of galectin-10 levels in patients with OD.

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Levels of galectin-10 in the olfactory mucosa and mucus in the olfactory cleft in CRS patients with OD (n=36) were significantly higher than in CRS patients without OD (n=14) (all P <.0001 researchers found that galectin-10 levels in mucus were positively correlated with tissue eosinophils olfactory cleft ct scores and endoscopy scale patients crs. negatively threshold discrimination identification r="-0.589)," scores.>

The researchers noted that mucus gaclectin-10 levels were associated with OD in CRS patients (odds ratio = 1.299; P = 0.008) after adjusting for comorbidities and demographics, and that levels above 8.975 ng/ml were the best predictor of OD in CRS.

The investigators concluded that “olfactory cleft mucus galectin-10 is strongly associated with OD in CRS.” They added that “future studies are needed to verify that galectin-10 levels in olfactory cleft mucus could be a valuable biomarker in determining biological treatment to achieve long-term and sustained olfactory improvement.”

Limitations of the study include insufficient sample size, possible selection bias, inability to determine how galectin-10 adds to olfactory deficits, and inability to confirm biomarkers as predictors of prognosis because levels galectin-10 were not measured after treatment.


Liu Z, Hong J, Huang X, Wu D. Olfactory cleft mucus galectin-10 predicts olfactory loss in chronic rhinosinusitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Published online July 21, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2022.07.014

Christine E. Phillips