Antisomnogenic cytokines, quality of life, and chronic rhinosinusitis: A pilot study

Jeremiah A. Alt, Nathan B. Sautter, Jess C. Mace, Kara Y. Detwiller, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Sleep disturbance, reduced quality of life (QOL), and other components of "sickness behavior" in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) are poorly understood. These complex changes in central behavior are due to the effects of immune mediators acting in the brain. We hypothesized that immune mediators that have been associated with CRS are also associated with sickness behavior, somnifacient complaints, and CRS disease-specific QOL. Study Design Pilot study. Methods Twenty patients with CRS were prospectively enrolled and completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), disease-specific QOL, and olfactory instruments. Ethmoid mucosa was obtained and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed for the cytokines interleukin (IL)-4, -13, and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). Average change in crossover threshold was calculated, and differences in gene expression were correlated with sleep quality, CRS-specific QOL, and disease severity. Results Patients with CRS reported overall poor sleep quality and poor CRS-specific QOL with significant correlations between them. Increased expression of TGF-β (r = -0.443; P =.050) and IL-4 (r = -0.548; P =.012) correlated with sleep dysfunction, whereas IL-13 expression was linearly associated with worse sleep quality (PSQI scores r = -0.417; P =.075). IL-4 and TGF-β expression was not associated with CRS disease severity or QOL, whereas significantly higher levels of IL-13 expression correlated with worse CRS disease severity and QOL. Conclusions Patients with CRS exhibited behavioral changes commonly referred to as sickness behavior, which include poor sleep quality and reduced QOL. The upregulation of IL-4 and TGF-β may contribute to inflammatory brain-mediated effects on sleep quality, whereas IL-13 may be a pleiotropic signaling molecule influencing sleep, QOL, and CRS disease severity. Level of Evidence 2b. Laryngoscope, 124:E107-E114, 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E107-E114
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Sinusitis
  • inflammation mediators
  • quality of life
  • rhinology
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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