The eosinophil may play a key role in the pathogenesis of nasal polyposis. Polyps in cystic fibrosis, however, have been described as neutrophilic. We compared the cell counts in polyps from 44 patients with cystic fibrosis to polyps from 50 patients without cystic fibrosis. The clinical profile, CT-scan and time to polyp recurrence were also compared with the cell counts in the patients with cystic fibrosis. No significant difference was detected in the number of patients with eosinophils (P > 0.25). Significantly more patients in the group with cystic fibrosis had polyp neutrophils (P < 0.01). Polyps from patients without cystic fibrosis contained more eosinophils (P < 0.001) whilst polyps from patients with cystic fibrosis contained more neutrophils (P = 0.001) and plasma cells (P = 0.038). Significant correlation was found between the neutrophil count and the CT score (P = 0.025) and between the recurrence time of polyps and the macrophage count (P = 0.01). Eosinophils are present in varying degrees in polyps from patients with and without cystic fibrosis and to classify polyps as eosinophilic or neutrophilic may be a false distinction.