OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to assess the cytological picture of the nasal mucosa of neonates born to mothers who are active smokers, passive smokers and non-smokers.
METHODS: A prospective study was conducted in a group of 86 neonates born between 23 and 41 weeks of gestation. The assignation of neonates to one of the three aforementioned groups was based on a questionnaire concerning exposure to tobacco smoke, and on the concentration of cotinine in maternal urine. A cytological examination was performed using exfoliative cytology with a semi-quantitative evaluation of the cells present in the specimens. Hematological summation equipment was used to assess the number of neutrophils, eosinophils, columnar, goblet, basal and squamous cells out of 500 cells counted. The number of specific cells was expressed as a percentage and a cytogram was created.
RESULTS: The most common type of cytogram contained neutrophils, columnar cells, and squamous cells. No significant differences were observed between the subgroups. Similarly, there was no correlation between the median of each type of cell and the cotinine concentration in the mothers' urine.
CONCLUSION: Active and passive smoking during pregnancy do not influence the cytological picture of the nasal mucosa of neonates.