ConclusionsFrom a study of nitric oxide (NO) output in the nose and sinuses it seems that: (i) the results obtained regarding the regulation of NO output in the nose do not necessarily apply to the sinuses; (ii) the results obtained for one group of sinuses may not apply to another; and (iii) NO output in the sinuses does not behave as one would expect if it serves to protect against infection.ObjectiveA pilot study was undertaken in one subject to determine whether the control of NO output in the nose differs from that in the sinuses.Material and methodsNO output was measured by aspirating different gaseous concentrations of oxygen (and/or carbon dioxide) through the nasal airways or punctured maxillary and frontal sinuses before and after i.v. administration of L-arginine (20 mg/kg).ResultsIn the absence of gaseous oxygen in the nose or maxillary antrum, the effect of L-arginine on NO output was the same as that in the presence of oxygen. In the frontal sinus, the effect of L-arginine on NO output was blocked by the absence of gaseous oxygen. NO output in the nose and frontal sinus showed similar changes after either i.v. administration of L-arginine or removal of oxygen from the air. NO output in the maxillary antrum was virtually unaffected by either procedure. NO output in the nose was largely unaffected by the gaseous carbon dioxide content but that in the frontal and maxillary sinuses was profoundly inhibited by it. In both sinuses, suppression of NO output by carbon dioxide was countered by oxygen. Alterations in the oxygen or carbon dioxide content of the maxillary antrum did not alter NO output in the frontal sinus, or vice versa. After i.v. infusion of L-arginine, nasal NO output remained elevated for >1 h.

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