Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis of the membranous nasal septum

T. V. Chan, J. H. Spiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Rhinoscleroma is a chronic, infectious, granulomatous disease that may present with mass lesions in the respiratory tract anywhere from the nose to the trachea. The nose is involved in 95-100 per cent of cases. There are three stages of the disease: catarrhal-atrophic, granulomatous (also known as hypertrophic) and sclerotic. The diagnosis is made either by positive Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis culture or from the classic histological findings of Mikulicz cells and transformed plasma cells with Russell bodies. Rhinoscleroma is endemic to areas of Africa, South-East Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Central and Eastern Europe, and it has been associated with low socioeconomic status. In the past, rhinoscleroma was infrequent in the US population but, with current trends in migration, the incidence of rhinoscleroma may be on the rise. There is often a delay in diagnosis in non-endemic areas such as the US due to unfamiliarity with the disease, the stage-dependent clinical and histological manifestations of disease, and the fact that only 50-60 per cent of cultures are positive for K rhinoscleromatis. Such late diagnosis leads to increased morbidity in the form of nasal and airway obstruction and nasal deformity from erosive processes. Rhinoscleroma is difficult to cure and prone to recur. Currently, the recommended treatment consists of a combination of surgical debridement and long-term antibiotic therapy. We present a case report of a culture-positive diagnosis of rhinoscleroma, and we review the existing literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1002
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Klebsiella Rhinoscleromatis
  • Nasal Septum
  • Nose
  • Tropical Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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