To evaluate the secretory element transformation of maxillary sinus mucosa after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS), I enrolled 20 patients. Five normal antral mucosae were used as controls, and 15 antral mucosae were investigated according to pathologic and secretory patterns. The post-ESS mucosa was evaluated at the 16th week, when gross recovery appeared. Specimens from the rear wall of the antrum were observed under a scanning electron microscope (x2,000). A significant decrease of goblet cells and increase of glands was illustrated in the sinusitis cases, especially the polypoid and purulent groups. In post-ESS cases, the number of goblet cells is about the same as in controls, but the number of gland openings is higher. My conclusions were that 1) the repair of the antral mucosa requires more time than gross recovery and 2) post-ESS follow-up should be longer than 16 weeks to prevent recurrence.
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