J Rhinol.  1997 Nov;4(2):129-138.

Morphological Investigations on the Epithelium and Subepithelial Connective Tissue of the Human Paranasal Sinus Mucosa

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Humboldt University, Germany.
  • 2Institute of Anatomy, Free University, Berlin, Germany.


The morphology of the mucosa from the human paranasal sinuses was investigated by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence microscopy. A total of 27 specimens was taken from 11 patients following midfacial fractures. All tissue samples were biopsied during surgery after given informed consent. In accordance with light microscopic investigations, the mucosa represented a highly prismatic epithelium consisting of kinocilia-carrying and mucus-producing (goblet) cells similar to the respiratory epithelium of other areas. Peculiar findings in the electron microscopic and immunomorphological investigations revealed collagen type VII beneath the lamina densa of the basal lamina. To date, this collagen type has only been described to accompany a multilayered epithelium. Another observation was the small number of basophils and eosinophils. Pronounced acute reactions of the mucosa in this area cannot be expected, which is in contrast, to that of the nasal mucosa.


Paranasal sinus mucosa; Subepithelial connective tissue; Collagen type V11; Electronmicroscopy; Immunofluorescence microscopy
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