The effect of benzalkonium chloride on rabbit nasal mucosa in vivo: An electron microscopy study

Sebahattin Cüreoǧlu, Murat Akkuş, Üstün Osma, Mehmet Yaldiz, Faruk Oktay, Belgin Can, Cengiz Güven, Muhammet TekIn, Faruk MerIç

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20 Scopus citations


In this study we investigated the histopathological changes of nasal mucosa after the use of topical benzalkonium-chloride solution. In the study, 28 male New Zealand white rabbits were used. The animals were divided into two groups. In the first group, 50μl of 0.001% benzalkonium-chloride solution was sprayed into the right nostril and 50μl of 0.9% saline into the left twice daily for 14 days. In the second group, the same solutions were applied twice daily for 28 days. All of the biopsies from each nasal cavity were processed for electron microscopy. In the nostrils treated with 0.001% benzalkonium chloride, there were areas with obvious squamous cell metaplasia. Some cells showed broken cristae of the mitochondria. Degenerative changes in the supportive and olfactory cells, deformation of nuclei and the increase of heterochromatin were observed. The present investigation has shown that the application of topical benzalkonium chloride does induce degenerative morphologic changes in the nasal mucosa in rabbits in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-364
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Nasal mucosa
  • Preservative
  • Steroids
  • Topical nasal decongestants


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