Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Sep;63(9):409-414. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2019.00913.

Inverse Relationship between Adenoid Size and Asthma or Atopy in Children: A Preliminary Study

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
One of the most common surgical procedures in children is adenoidectomy, but the causes of adenoid hypertrophy are not fully understood. Some studies have found that allergies can be a risk factor for adenoid hypertrophy, asthma being one of these allergic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between adenoid size and asthma in a group of children.
Subjects and Method
This study reviewed a total of 2063 pediatric patients with or without atopy and asthma who visited the Otorhinolaryngology and Pediatric unit at a tertiary medical center from January 2011 to June 2016. We classified these patients into 4 groups according to the presence of asthma or atopy and randomly selected 100 patients from each group (to a total of 400 pts): group 1 (asthma-, atopy-); group 2 (asthma-, atopy+); group 3 (asthma+, atopy-) and group 4 (asthma+, atopy+). The presence of allergic sensitization (atopy) was evaluated by CAP test and total IgE. Asthma was diagnosed according to the diagnosis criteria in the Korean guideline for asthma. Adenoid size was evaluated with the adenoidal-nasopharyngeal ratio (A/N ratio) by the adenoid view.
The four groups did not differ from each other significantly in age or sex. There was a negative correlation between adenoid size and atopic and asthmatic condition. Group 1 had a significantly larger A/N ratio than the other groups (group 1=0.534±0.138; group 2=0.469± 0.140; group 3=0.476±0.135; group 4=0.482±0.128, p<0.05). However, group 4 showed nearly identical results to groups 2 and 3, despite the combination of asthma and atopy in group 4.
Large adenoids were negatively associated with atopy and asthma. This finding may be explained by a decrease in adenoid stimulation by nasal obstruction and a difference in the immune system, including allergic immune reactions. Further studies are needed.


Adenoid; Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; Atopy
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