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1.  233 The Evaluation of Allergen Sensitivity in Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis and Allergic Asthma Patients in Antalya, Turkey 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S93-S94.
Allergic rhinitis is a common health problem which has 2 forms; seasonal and perennial. The prevalence and etiology of allergic rhinitis varies from region to region and affect 10 to 20% of the population approximately. The prevalences of asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic eye disease were detected as 8.2%, 10.8% and 7.5% respectively in Antalya, the south coast of Turkey.
The study was conducted in Antalya between 10th of November 2009 and 20th of September 2010. 866 of 2862 patients who had allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma were enrolled in the study due to having high total IgE levels in blood conducted at the Allergy-Immunology Division of Antalya Research and Training Hospital. Allergen-spesific subcutaneous immunotherapy was given 626 of 866 patients.
Of the 866 patients studied, 66.1 % were females. Most of the cases had declaired that the rhinitis symptomes were due to pollens and house dust the second most common irritant. Also the cases have said that their symptoms got worse with exposure to dust, smoke, heavy odors, perfumes, and detergents. Most of the patients have said that air pollution was the most important factor that exacerbated the symptoms of rhinitis and asthma. While there is a comparison between the age and SPT positivity, Aspergillus fumigatus and Dpteronyssinus sensitivity was statistically different in the mites and fungal mixture dermal test groups. As a result, in the study group of 866 allergic rhinitis patients, only the Plantagolanceolata, Corylusavellana, Aspergillus fumigatus, Dpteronyssinus and cockroach sensitivity was significantly varies with the age.
In allergic diseases; we all know that allergens may have regional variations. That's why; the allergen profiles of the regions must be determined and the dermal Prick tests must be prepared accordingly. Mostly grass and cereal mixtures and mites are responsible from the allergic rhinitis cases due to our observations in our clinic. The other important allergens that are linked to the flora and climate of the region are olive and the cockroaches. High asthma prevalence in people living in shanties and in housewives may be due to exposure to house dust mites.
PMCID: PMC3512677
2.  Developmental Profiles of Eczema, Wheeze, and Rhinitis: Two Population-Based Birth Cohort Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(10):e1001748.
Using data from two population-based birth cohorts, Danielle Belgrave and colleagues examine the evidence for atopic march in developmental profiles for allergic disorders.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
The term “atopic march” has been used to imply a natural progression of a cascade of symptoms from eczema to asthma and rhinitis through childhood. We hypothesize that this expression does not adequately describe the natural history of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis during childhood. We propose that this paradigm arose from cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal studies, and may reflect a population pattern that may not predominate at the individual level.
Methods and Findings
Data from 9,801 children in two population-based birth cohorts were used to determine individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis and whether the manifestations of these symptoms followed an atopic march pattern. Children were assessed at ages 1, 3, 5, 8, and 11 y. We used Bayesian machine learning methods to identify distinct latent classes based on individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis. This approach allowed us to identify groups of children with similar patterns of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis over time.
Using a latent disease profile model, the data were best described by eight latent classes: no disease (51.3%), atopic march (3.1%), persistent eczema and wheeze (2.7%), persistent eczema with later-onset rhinitis (4.7%), persistent wheeze with later-onset rhinitis (5.7%), transient wheeze (7.7%), eczema only (15.3%), and rhinitis only (9.6%). When latent variable modelling was carried out separately for the two cohorts, similar results were obtained. Highly concordant patterns of sensitisation were associated with different profiles of eczema, rhinitis, and wheeze. The main limitation of this study was the difference in wording of the questions used to ascertain the presence of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis in the two cohorts.
The developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis are heterogeneous; only a small proportion of children (∼7% of those with symptoms) follow trajectory profiles resembling the atopic march.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Our immune system protects us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens by recognizing specific molecules on the invader's surface and initiating a sequence of events that culminates in the death of the pathogen. Sometimes, however, our immune system responds to harmless materials (allergens such as pollen) and triggers allergic, or atopic, symptoms. Common atopic symptoms include eczema (transient dry itchy patches on the skin), wheeze (high pitched whistling in the chest, a symptom of asthma), and rhinitis (sneezing or a runny nose in the absence of a cold or influenza). All these symptoms are very common during childhood, but recent epidemiological studies (examinations of the patterns and causes of diseases in a population) have revealed age-related changes in the proportions of children affected by each symptom. So, for example, eczema is more common in infants than in school-age children. These findings have led to the idea of “atopic march,” a natural progression of symptoms within individual children that starts with eczema, then progresses to wheeze and finally rhinitis.
Why Was This Study Done?
The concept of atopic march has led to the initiation of studies that aim to prevent the development of asthma in children who are thought to be at risk of asthma because they have eczema. Moreover, some guidelines recommend that clinicians tell parents that children with eczema may later develop asthma or rhinitis. However, because of the design of the epidemiological studies that support the concept of atopic march, children with eczema who later develop wheeze and rhinitis may actually belong to a distinct subgroup of children, rather than representing the typical progression of atopic diseases. It is important to know whether atopic march adequately describes the natural history of atopic diseases during childhood to avoid the imposition of unnecessary strategies on children with eczema to prevent asthma. Here, the researchers use machine learning techniques to model the developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis during childhood in two large population-based birth cohorts by taking into account time-related (longitudinal) changes in symptoms within individuals. Machine learning is a data-driven approach that identifies structure within the data (for example, a typical progression of symptoms) using unsupervised learning of latent variables (variables that are not directly measured but are inferred from other observable characteristics).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from two UK birth cohorts—the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study (MAAS)—for their study (9,801 children in total). Both studies enrolled children at birth and monitored their subsequent health at regular review clinics. At each review clinic, information about eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis was collected from the parents using validated questionnaires. The researchers then used these data and machine learning methods to identify groups of children with similar patterns of onset of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis over the first 11 years of life. Using a type of statistical model called a latent disease profile model, the researchers found that the data were best described by eight latent classes—no disease (51.3% of the children), atopic march (3.1%), persistent eczema and wheeze (2.7%), persistent eczema with later-onset rhinitis (4.7%), persistent wheeze with later-onset rhinitis (5.7%), transient wheeze (7.7%), eczema only (15.3%), and rhinitis only (9.6%).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, in two large UK birth cohorts, the developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis were heterogeneous. Most notably, the progression of symptoms fitted the profile of atopic march in fewer than 7% of children with symptoms. The researchers acknowledge that their study has some limitations. For example, small differences in the wording of the questions used to gather information from parents about their children's symptoms in the two cohorts may have slightly affected the findings. However, based on their findings, the researchers propose that, because eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis are common, these symptoms often coexist in individuals, but as independent entities rather than as a linked progression of symptoms. Thus, using eczema as an indicator of subsequent asthma risk and assigning “preventative” measures to children with eczema is flawed. Importantly, clinicians need to understand the heterogeneity of patterns of atopic diseases in children and to communicate this variability to parents when advising them about the development and resolution of atopic symptoms in their children.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about eczema (including personal stories), asthma (including personal stories), and rhinitis
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information about atopic diseases
The UK not-for-profit organization Allergy UK provides information about atopic diseases and a description of the atopic march
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on eczema, wheezing, and rhinitis (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about allergies, eczema, and asthma (in English and Spanish)
Information about ALSPAC and MAAS is available
Wikipedia has pages on machine learning and latent disease profile models (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC4204810  PMID: 25335105
3.  Role of Skin Prick Test in Allergic Disorders: A Prospective Study in Kashmiri Population in Light of Review 
Indian Journal of Dermatology  2013;58(1):12-17.
Skin prick test (SPT) is the most effective diagnostic test to detect IgE mediated type I allergic reactions like allergic rhinitis, atopic asthma, acute urticaria, food allergy etc. SPTs are done to know allergic sensitivity and applied for devising immunotherapy as the therapeutic modality.
Materials and Methods:
This prospective study was conducted in the department of Immunology and Molecular medicine at SKIMS. A total of 400 patients suffering from allergic rhinitis, asthma and urticaria were recruited in this study. SPT was performed with panel of allergens including house dust mite, pollens, fungi, dusts, cockroach, sheep wool and dog epithelia. Allergen immunotherapy was given to allergic rhinitis and asthmatic patients as therapeutic modality.
In our study, age of patients ranged from 6 to 65 years. Majority of patients were in the age group of 20-30 years (72%) with Male to female ratio of 1:1.5. Of the 400 patients, 248 (62%) had urticaria, 108 (27%) patients had allergic rhinitis and 44 (11%) patients had asthma. SPT reaction was positive in 38 (86.4%) with allergic asthma, 74 (68.5%) patients with allergic rhinitis and 4 (1.6%) patient with urticaria, respectively. Allergen immunotherapy was effective in 58% patients with allergic rhinitis and 42% allergic asthma.
Identifiable aeroallergen could be detected in 86.4% allergic asthma and 68.5% allergic rhinitis patients by SPT alone. Pollens were the most prevalent causative allergen. There was significant relief in the severity of symptoms, medication intake with the help of allergen immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3555364  PMID: 23372205
Allergic rhinitis; asthma; Kashmir; skin prick test
4.  201 Clinical Efficacy and Mucosal/Systemic Antibody Response Changes After Sublingual Immunotherapy in Mite-Allergic Children: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Brazil 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S83-S84.
This study aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy and mucosal/systemic antibody response changes after sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) using Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) allergens with or without bacterial extracts in mite-allergic Brazilian children.
One-hundred and 2 patients presenting allergic rhinitis with or without asthma were selected for a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and distributed into 3 groups: DPT (Dpt allergen extract, n = 34), DPT + MRB (Dpt allergen plus mixed respiratory bacterial extracts, n = 36), and Placebo (n = 32). Clinical evaluation and immunological analyses were carried out before and after 12 and 18 months of treatment, including rhinitis/asthma symptom and medication scores, skin prick test (SPT) to Dpt extract, and measurements of Dpt-, Der p 1-, Der p 2-specific IgE, IgG4, and IgG1 in serum and -specific IgA in saliva and nasal lavage fluid.
Clinical results showed a significant decline in rhinitis/asthma symptom scores in all groups, but medication use decreased only in active DPT group at 12 months. SPT results showed no significant changes and SLIT was generally safe, with no severe systemic reactions. SLIT using Dpt allergen alone induced increased serum IgG4 levels to Dpt, Der p 1 and Der p 2, and increased serum IgG1 and salivary IgA levels to Dpt and Der p 1. SLIT using DPT+MRB was able to decrease IgE levels, particularly to Der p 2, to increase salivary IgA levels to Der p 1, but had no changes on specific IgG4 and IgG1 levels.
Therefore, SLIT seems to be effective in ameliorating clinical symptoms, but only active SLIT was able to modulate the mucosal and systemic antibody responses. These findings support the role of specific serum IgG4 and IgG1, in addition to salivary IgA, as protective or blocking antibodies as well as biomarkers of tolerance that may be useful for monitoring activation of tolerance-inducing mechanisms during allergen immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3512804
5.  Non Allergic Rhinitis: Prevalence, Clinical Profile and Knowledge Gaps in Literature 
Oman Medical Journal  2011;26(6):416-420.
Although Nasal symptoms induced by Non-allergic rhinitis| (NAR) are a cause of wide spread morbidity; the disease is trivialized. There is a lack of Epidemiological studies on the prevalence of non-allergic rhinitis. In spite of being one of the commonest conditions presenting to the General practitioner and otolaryngologists, the clinical profile, diagnosis, and management outcomes are unknown. The objectives of the study were to examine the prevalence and clinical profile of non-allergic rhinitis in Oman. Secondary objective was to identify Knowledge gaps in literature with the aim of directing future research.
A cross sectional study of 610 consecutive adult patients presenting to the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital is presented in this paper. The diagnosis of NAR was mainly based on step wise fashion; including a thorough clinical history and exclusion of other causes of rhinitis; all consecutive patients diagnosed with rhinitis (n=113) had a detailed history, nasal endoscopy, nasal smears, CT scans and an antihistamine response trial. The prevalence of NAR with its clinical profile was subsequently determined. Primary research articles and meta-analysis evaluated for the knowledge gap study were identified through MEDLINE search of English language literature published between 2000-2011.
A total of 610 consecutive patients were studied. The overall prevalence of rhinitis was 18.5% (n=113). The prevalence of NAR was 7.5% (n=46). Cases of allergic rhinitis (5.7%; n=35), Chronic rhinosinusitis (1.8%; n=11), and miscellaneous causes (3.4%; n=21) were excluded. Among the rhinitis population (n=113), the prevalence of NAR was 57% (n=46). The major presenting symptoms included nasal obstruction (93%; n=43), postnasal drainage (78%; n=36), and rhinorrhea (62%; n=29). For the knowledge gap study; 115 Medline titles were reviewed, four systematic reviews, and 34 research papers were reviewed. The text of two recent otolaryngology text books was also reviewed, and the main results of the study revealed the prevalence of NAR had not previously been studied in Oman. Although the recent text now clearly defines NAR, there is scant literature on the prevalence, diagnosis and management outcomes of NAR in the literature.
The study found that more than half of rhinitis patients suffered from NAR. There are no specific diagnostic tests for NAR; a thorough case history is the best diagnostic tool to date. A substantial knowledge gap exists in literature with relations to pathogenesis, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, as well as in reference to medical and surgical outcomes. Larger studies are required and management outcomes need to be studied.
PMCID: PMC3251201  PMID: 22253950
Nasal obstruction; Non allergic rhinitis; Seasonal rhinitis; NANIPER; NARES; Idiopathic rhinitis
6.  Active or Passive Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Dermatitis, and Food Allergy in Adults and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(3):e1001611.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Bahi Takkouche and colleagues examine the associations between exposure to tobacco smoke and allergic disorders in children and adults.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, and food allergy are extremely common diseases, especially among children, and are frequently associated to each other and to asthma. Smoking is a potential risk factor for these conditions, but so far, results from individual studies have been conflicting. The objective of this study was to examine the evidence for an association between active smoking (AS) or passive exposure to secondhand smoke and allergic conditions.
Methods and Findings
We retrieved studies published in any language up to June 30th, 2013 by systematically searching Medline, Embase, the five regional bibliographic databases of the World Health Organization, and ISI-Proceedings databases, by manually examining the references of the original articles and reviews retrieved, and by establishing personal contact with clinical researchers. We included cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies reporting odds ratio (OR) or relative risk (RR) estimates and confidence intervals of smoking and allergic conditions, first among the general population and then among children.
We retrieved 97 studies on allergic rhinitis, 91 on allergic dermatitis, and eight on food allergy published in 139 different articles. When all studies were analyzed together (showing random effects model results and pooled ORs expressed as RR), allergic rhinitis was not associated with active smoking (pooled RR, 1.02 [95% CI 0.92–1.15]), but was associated with passive smoking (pooled RR 1.10 [95% CI 1.06–1.15]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with both active (pooled RR, 1.21 [95% CI 1.14–1.29]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.07 [95% CI 1.03–1.12]). In children and adolescent, allergic rhinitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.40 (95% CI 1.24–1.59) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.09 [95% CI 1.04–1.14]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.36 [95% CI 1.17–1.46]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.06 [95% CI 1.01–1.11]). Food allergy was associated with SHS (1.43 [1.12–1.83]) when cohort studies only were examined, but not when all studies were combined.
The findings are limited by the potential for confounding and bias given that most of the individual studies used a cross-sectional design. Furthermore, the studies showed a high degree of heterogeneity and the exposure and outcome measures were assessed by self-report, which may increase the potential for misclassification.
We observed very modest associations between smoking and some allergic diseases among adults. Among children and adolescents, both active and passive exposure to SHS were associated with a modest increased risk for allergic diseases, and passive smoking was associated with an increased risk for food allergy. Additional studies with detailed measurement of exposure and better case definition are needed to further explore the role of smoking in allergic diseases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The immune system protects the human body from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Whenever a pathogen enters the body, immune system cells called T lymphocytes recognize specific molecules on its surface and release chemical messengers that recruit and activate other types of immune cells, which then attack the pathogen. Sometimes, however, the immune system responds to harmless materials (for example, pollen; scientists call these materials allergens) and triggers an allergic disease such as allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of the nose; hay fever is a type of allergic rhinitis), allergic dermatitis (also known as eczema, a disease characterized by dry, itchy patches on the skin), and food allergy. Recent studies suggest that all these allergic (atopic) diseases are part of a continuous state called the “atopic march” in which individuals develop allergic diseases in a specific sequence that starts with allergic dermatitis during infancy, and progresses to food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and finally asthma (inflammation of the airways).
Why Was This Study Done?
Allergic diseases are extremely common, particularly in children. Allergic rhinitis alone affects 10%–30% of the world's population and up to 40% of children in some countries. Moreover, allergic diseases are becoming increasingly common. Allergic diseases affect the quality of life of patients and are financially costly to both patients and health systems. It is important, therefore, to identify the factors that cause or potentiate their development. One potential risk factor for allergic diseases is active or passive exposure to tobacco smoke. In some countries up to 80% of children are exposed to second-hand smoke so, from a public health point of view, it would be useful to know whether exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with the development of allergic diseases. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and a meta-analysis (a statistical approach for combining the results of several studies) to investigate this issue.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 196 observational studies (investigations that observe outcomes in populations without trying to affect these outcomes in any way) that examined the association between smoke exposure and allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, or food allergy. When all studies were analyzed together, allergic rhinitis was not associated with active smoking but was slightly associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. Specifically, compared to people not exposed to second-hand smoke, the pooled relative risk (RR) of allergic rhinitis among people exposed to second-hand smoke was 1.10 (an RR of greater than 1 indicates an increased risk of disease development in an exposed population compared to an unexposed population). Allergic dermatitis was associated with both active smoking (RR = 1.21) and exposure to second-hand smoke (RR = 1.07). In the populations of children and adolescents included in the studies, allergic rhinitis was associated with both active smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke (RRs of 1.40 and 1.09, respectively), as was allergic dermatitis (RRs of 1.36 and 1.06, respectively). Finally food allergy was associated with exposure to second-hand smoke (RR = 1.43) when cohort studies (a specific type of observational study) only were examined but not when all the studies were combined.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide limited evidence for a weak association between smoke exposure and allergic disease in adults but suggest that both active and passive smoking are associated with a modestly increased risk of allergic diseases in children and adolescents. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the use of questionnaires to assess smoke exposure and allergic disease development in most of the studies in the meta-analysis and by the possibility that individuals exposed to smoke may have shared other characteristics that were actually responsible for their increased risk of allergic diseases. To shed more light on the role of smoking in allergic diseases, additional studies are needed that accurately measure exposure and outcomes. However, the present findings suggest that, in countries where many people smoke, 14% and 13% of allergic rhinitis and allergic dermatitis, respectively, among children may be attributable to active smoking. Thus, the elimination of active smoking among children and adolescents could prevent one in seven cases of allergic rhinitis and one in eight cases of allergic dermatitis in such countries.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about allergic rhinitis, hay fever (including personal stories), allergic dermatitis (including personal stories), and food allergy (including personal stories)
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease provides information about allergic diseases
The UK not-for-profit organization Allergy UK provides information about all aspects of allergic diseases and a description of the atopic march
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on allergic rhinitis and allergic dermatitis (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about allergies, eczema, and food allergy (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC3949681  PMID: 24618794
7.  235 Frequency of Patients With Clinical Manifestations of Allergic Rhinitis without Evidence of Systemic Atopy and Specific ige Sensitization 
The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis (AR) is based on clinical manifestations and supported by a positive result for skin prick test (SPT) or serum specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) antibodies to aeroallergens. Our objective was to investigate the frequency of patients with clinical manifestations of AR without evidence of specific IgE sensitization.
We evaluated patients with clinical manifestations suggestive of AR, other causes of rhinitis excluded, aged >5 years and who had total serum IgE and SPT or sIgE to aeroallergens measured. Skin tests were performed with extracts of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, Blomia tropicalis and Aspergillus fumigatus (FDA Allergenic) and total serum IgE and sIgE, for the same allergens, by ImmunoCAP (Phadia). Patients were subdivided into groups according to the results profile, and comparatively analyzed for association with asthma, severity of rhinitis and age.
We evaluated 116 patients (64% female) aged between 5 and 79 years, including 34 children (29%) and 63 (54%) with bronchial asthma. The observed profiles and frequencies were: high IgE levels and positivity in the SPT or sIgE –55%; normal IgE levels and SPT or sIgE positivity –9%; high IgE levels and SPT and sIgE negativity –3 %; normal IgE levels and negativity in the SPT and sIgE –23%. Among patients with normal levels of total serum IgE and no evidence of specific IgE sensitization, 14% had asthma, while in the remainder the prevalence of asthma was 34% (P = 0.0009). There was no statistical significance in the influence of the rhinitis severity and age in the absence of markers of atopy and allergen sensitization.
We observed a significant number of patients with clinical manifestations of AR, without evidence of systemic atopy and specific IgE sensitization, indicating the importance of careful research of local allergic rhinitis, as well as other causes of chronic rhinitis. Local allergic rhinitis appears to be less frequent in patients with rhinitis and asthma. The observation of 13% of patients with elevated levels of total IgE without specific sensitization implies the possibility of sensitization to aeroallergens which were not investigated, such as occupational allergens.
PMCID: PMC3513054
8.  Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis: relationship with nasal polyposis, asthma and family history 
Rhinitis and rhinosinusitis (with/without polyposis), either allergic or non-allergic, represent a major medical problem. Their associated comorbidities and relationship with family history have so far been poorly investigated. We assessed these aspects in a large population of patients suffering from rhinosinusal diseases. Clinical history, nasal cytology, allergy testing and direct nasal examination were performed in all patients referred for rhinitis/rhinosinusitis. Fibre optic nasal endoscopy, CT scan and nasal challenge were used for diagnosis, when indicated. A total of 455 patients (60.7% male, age range 4-84 years) were studied; 108 (23.7%) had allergic rhinitis, 128 (28.1%) rhinosinusitis with polyposis, 107 (23.5%) non-allergic rhinitis (negative skin test); 112 patients had associated allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, the majority with eosinophilia. There was a significant association between non-allergic rhinitis and family history of nasal polyposis (OR = 4.45; 95%CI = 1.70-11.61; p = 0.0019), whereas this association was no longer present when allergic rhinitis was also included. Asthma was equally frequent in non-allergic and allergic rhinitis, but more frequent in patients with polyposis. Aspirin sensitivity was more frequent in nasal polyposis, independent of the allergic (p = 0.03) or non-allergic (p = 0.01) nature of rhinitis. Nasal polyposis is significantly associated with asthma and positive family history of asthma, partially independent of the allergic aetiology of rhinitis.
PMCID: PMC3970223  PMID: 24711681
Allergic rhinitis; Non-allergic rhinitis; Nasal polyposis; Nasal cytology; Family history; Atopy
9.  167 Allergen Sensitization in Children with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma in Guatemala 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S72-S73.
There are no previous studies published reporting allergen sensitizations in the population of most Central American countries, including Guatemala. There are many types of climates in different regions, with variable altitude, humidity, etc. The purpose of this study was to determine the most common allergen sensitizations in children with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma in 4 different regions.
The study was performed on 461 children aged 5 to 15 years, from 4 different regions in Guatemala. A questionnaire was given to record information regarding family history of atopic disease and symptoms of Rhinitis and Asthma. The diagnosis was made in the presence of at least 3 symptoms of each disease. Scratch testing was performed using a commercially available device and a panel of 8 allergen extracts: Cypress Arizona, Dog, Cat, Dermatophagoides farinae and pteronyssinus, Cockroach Mix, Mold Mix and Bermuda grass.
Patient average age was 8.3 years, 55% male and 45% female. Patient distribution by region was 35% from Huehuetenango, 29% Chiquimula, 18% Mazatenango and 18% Quetzaltenango. Family history of allergic rhinitis was present in 46% of patients, asthma in 51% and atopic dermatitis in 33%. The most common diagnosis was rhinitis in 86% of patients, 52% had asthma and 43%, both rhinitis and asthma. 98% had a positive Histamine Control and all a Negative Saline Control. 36% of patients had no allergy sensitization to allergens tested and 64% showed positive skin tests. The most frequent allergic sensitization was to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (44%) and farinae (43%), followed by Cockroach (28%). We also found less frequently, positive skin tests to grass (14%), Cat (14%), Mold (10%), Dog (8%) and Cypress (6%). The regions with higher dust mite sensitization were Quetzaltenango (51–55%) and Huehuetenango (45–51%).
The most common allergen sensitizations in children with allergic rhinitis and asthma in Guatemala are dust mites and cockroach. Family history of either rhinitis or asthma is present in a significant amount of patients (46–51%) with atopic disease and allergic sensitization, showing that it is an important risk factor in Guatemala. In 36% of patients in this study, allergic sensitization does not seem to contribute to their rhinitis and asthma symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3512912
10.  223 Patterns of Skin Prick Test Positivity in 519 Patients with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma in Mexico City 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S90-S91.
There are studies in Mexico and worldwide about the patterns of positivity of skin prick test and the most frecuently allergens were: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DPT), tree pollens (Ash/Oak in Mexico, Oak in U.S.A, Birch in Europe), grasses (Bermuda in Mexico, Timothy in U.S.A and Lolium in Europe) and thirdly cat ephitelium(CE). The reactivity to allergens was more common in males and the age groups in which there were positive skin test with the highest prevalence was from 5 to 15 years and 21 to 40 years.
The objective is to determine the pattern of skin prick test reactivity to aeroallergens in patients with rhinitis and asthma allergic in Mexico city, attending in the National Institute of Respiratory Disease (INER). This is a prospective, observational and longitudinal study based on data analysis of skin prick test results of individuals with clinical diagnosis of airway allergy (rhinitis/asthma). We use standardized allergens (alkalbello), detailed clinic history was collected in all cases. The statistical analysis was performed with the program SPSS14.
We obtained a total of 519 patients with positive skin prick test between January 2009 and March 2011. This group comprised 47% females and 53% male, with a mean age of 19 years between 3 to 79 years. We have 253patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma (A), 173 with RA and 93 with A. 55% of the patients reacted to one allergen extract (AE) and 45% of the patients reacted with 2 or more AE. The most frequently indoor allergenswith positive skin prick test were Dpt (65.1%), Dermatophagoides farinae (Df) in 32.3%, CE(31.7%), Cockroach (11.5%). Among the outdoor allergens ash was positive in 23.3%, Ligustrum (18.8%) oak (17.7%) birch (13.6%) Western Juniperus (9.6%), Ulm (8.6%).
The most frequently positivity skin prick test were Dpt, Df, CE, Ash, Privet, Oak. The reactivity to allergens was more common in males, and there are 3 peaks of age of positivity on prick test (7–12 years, 25–29 years and 36 years).
PMCID: PMC3512635
11.  Clinical relevance is associated with allergen-specific wheal size in skin prick testing 
Clinical and Experimental Allergy  2014;44(3):407-416.
Within a large prospective study, the Global Asthma and Allergy European Network (GA2LEN) has collected skin prick test (SPT) data throughout Europe to make recommendations for SPT in clinical settings.
To improve clinical interpretation of SPT results for inhalant allergens by providing quantitative decision points.
The GA2LEN SPT study with 3068 valid data sets was used to investigate the relationship between SPT results and patient-reported clinical relevance for each of the 18 inhalant allergens as well as SPT wheal size and physician-diagnosed allergy (rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, food allergy). The effects of age, gender, and geographical area on SPT results were assessed. For each allergen, the wheal size in mm with an 80% positive predictive value (PPV) for being clinically relevant was calculated.
Depending on the allergen, from 40% (blatella) to 87–89% (grass, mites) of the positive SPT reactions (wheal size ≥ 3 mm) were associated with patient-reported clinical symptoms when exposed to the respective allergen. The risk of allergic symptoms increased significantly with larger wheal sizes for 17 of the 18 allergens tested. Children with positive SPT reactions had a smaller risk of sensitizations being clinically relevant compared with adults. The 80% PPV varied from 3 to 10 mm depending on the allergen.
These ‘reading keys’ for 18 inhalant allergens can help interpret SPT results with respect to their clinical significance. A SPT form with the standard allergens including mm decision points for each allergen is offered for clinical use.
PMCID: PMC4215109  PMID: 24283409
allergy diagnostics; common allergens; sensitization; skin prick test
12.  Guideline on allergen-specific immunotherapy in IgE-mediated allergic diseases 
Allergo Journal International  2014;23(8):282-319.
The present guideline (S2k) on allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) was established by the German, Austrian and Swiss professional associations for allergy in consensus with the scientific specialist societies and professional associations in the fields of otolaryngology, dermatology and venereology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, pneumology as well as a German patient organization (German Allergy and Asthma Association; Deutscher Allergie- und Asthmabund, DAAB) according to the criteria of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften, AWMF).
AIT is a therapy with disease-modifying effects. By administering allergen extracts, specific blocking antibodies, toler-ance-inducing cells and mediators are activated. These prevent further exacerbation of the allergen-triggered immune response, block the specific immune response and attenuate the inflammatory response in tissue.
Products for SCIT or SLIT cannot be compared at present due to their heterogeneous composition, nor can allergen concentrations given by different manufacturers be compared meaningfully due to the varying methods used to measure their active ingredients. Non-modified allergens are used for SCIT in the form of aqueous or physically adsorbed (depot) extracts, as well as chemically modified allergens (allergoids) as depot extracts. Allergen extracts for SLIT are used in the form of aqueous solutions or tablets.
The clinical efficacy of AIT is measured using various scores as primary and secondary study endpoints. The EMA stipulates combined symptom and medication scores as primary endpoint. A harmonization of clinical endpoints, e. g., by using the combined symptom and medication scores (CSMS) recommended by the EAACI, is desirable in the future in order to permit the comparison of results from different studies. The current CONSORT recommendations from the ARIA/GA2LEN group specify standards for the evaluation, presentation and publication of study results.
According to the Therapy allergen ordinance (TAV), preparations containing common allergen sources (pollen from grasses, birch, alder, hazel, house dust mites, as well as bee and wasp venom) need a marketing authorization in Germany. During the marketing authorization process, these preparations are examined regarding quality, safety and efficacy. In the opinion of the authors, authorized allergen preparations with documented efficacy and safety, or preparations tradeable under the TAV for which efficacy and safety have already been documented in clinical trials meeting WAO or EMA standards, should be preferentially used. Individual formulations (NPP) enable the prescription of rare allergen sources (e.g., pollen from ash, mugwort or ambrosia, mold Alternaria, animal allergens) for specific immunotherapy. Mixing these allergens with TAV allergens is not permitted.
Allergic rhinitis and its associated co-morbidities (e. g., bronchial asthma) generate substantial direct and indirect costs. Treatment options, in particular AIT, are therefore evaluated using cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses. From a long-term perspective, AIT is considered to be significantly more cost effective in allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma than pharmacotherapy, but is heavily dependent on patient compliance.
Meta-analyses provide unequivocal evidence of the efficacy of SCIT and SLIT for certain allergen sources and age groups. Data from controlled studies differ in terms of scope, quality and dosing regimens and require product-specific evaluation. Therefore, evaluating individual preparations according to clearly defined criteria is recommended. A broad transfer of the efficacy of certain preparations to all preparations administered in the same way is not endorsed. The website of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (; DGAKI: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allergologie und klinische Immunologie) provides tables with specific information on available products for AIT in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The tables contain the number of clinical studies per product in adults and children, the year of market authorization, underlying scoring systems, number of randomized and analyzed subjects and the method of evaluation (ITT, FAS, PP), separately given for grass pollen, birch pollen and house dust mite allergens, and the status of approval for the conduct of clinical studies with these products.
Strong evidence of the efficacy of SCIT in pollen allergy-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in adulthood is well-documented in numerous trials and, in childhood and adolescence, in a few trials. Efficacy in house dust mite allergy is documented by a number of controlled trials in adults and few controlled trials in children. Only a few controlled trials, independent of age, are available for mold allergy (in particular Alternaria). With regard to animal dander allergies (primarily to cat allergens), only small studies, some with methodological deficiencies are available. Only a moderate and inconsistent therapeutic effect in atopic dermatitis has been observed in the quite heterogeneous studies conducted to date. SCIT has been well investigated for individual preparations in controlled bronchial asthma as defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2007 and intermittent and mild persistent asthma (GINA 2005) and it is recommended as a treatment option, in addition to allergen avoidance and pharmacotherapy, provided there is a clear causal link between respiratory symptoms and the relevant allergen.
The efficacy of SLIT in grass pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is extensively documented in adults and children, whilst its efficacy in tree pollen allergy has only been shown in adults. New controlled trials (some with high patient numbers) on house dust mite allergy provide evidence of efficacy of SLIT in adults.
Compared with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, there are only few studies on the efficacy of SLIT in allergic asthma. In this context, newer studies show an efficacy for SLIT on asthma symptoms in the subgroup of grass pollen allergic children, adolescents and adults with asthma and efficacy in primary house dust mite allergy-induced asthma in adolescents aged from 14 years and in adults.
Aspects of secondary prevention, in particular the reduction of new sensitizations and reduced asthma risk, are important rationales for choosing to initiate treatment early in childhood and adolescence. In this context, those products for which the appropriate effects have been demonstrated should be considered.
SCIT or SLIT with pollen or mite allergens can be performed in patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis using allergen extracts that have been proven to be effective in at least one double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) study. At present, clinical trials are underway for the indication in asthma due to house dust mite allergy, some of the results of which have already been published, whilst others are still awaited (see the DGAKI table “Approved/potentially completed studies” via (according to When establishing the indication for AIT, factors that favour clinical efficacy should be taken into consideration. Differences between SCIT and SLIT are to be considered primarily in terms of contraindications. In individual cases, AIT may be justifiably indicated despite the presence of contraindications.
SCIT injections and the initiation of SLIT are performed by a physician experienced in this type of treatment and who is able to administer emergency treatment in the case of an allergic reaction. Patients must be fully informed about the procedure and risks of possible adverse events, and the details of this process must be documented (see “Treatment information sheet”; available as a handout via Treatment should be performed according to the manufacturer‘s product information leaflet. In cases where AIT is to be performed or continued by a different physician to the one who established the indication, close cooperation is required in order to ensure that treatment is implemented consistently and at low risk. In general, it is recommended that SCIT and SLIT should only be performed using preparations for which adequate proof of efficacy is available from clinical trials.
Treatment adherence among AIT patients is lower than assumed by physicians, irrespective of the form of administration. Clearly, adherence is of vital importance for treatment success. Improving AIT adherence is one of the most important future goals, in order to ensure efficacy of the therapy.
Severe, potentially life-threatening systemic reactions during SCIT are possible, but – providing all safety measures are adhered to – these events are very rare. Most adverse events are mild to moderate and can be treated well.
Dose-dependent adverse local reactions occur frequently in the mouth and throat in SLIT. Systemic reactions have been described in SLIT, but are seen far less often than with SCIT. In terms of anaphylaxis and other severe systemic reactions, SLIT has a better safety profile than SCIT.
The risk and effects of adverse systemic reactions in the setting of AIT can be effectively reduced by training of personnel, adhering to safety standards and prompt use of emergency measures, including early administration of i. m. epinephrine. Details on the acute management of anaphylactic reactions can be found in the current S2 guideline on anaphylaxis issued by the AWMF (S2-AWMF-LL Registry Number 061-025).
AIT is undergoing some innovative developments in many areas (e. g., allergen characterization, new administration routes, adjuvants, faster and safer dose escalation protocols), some of which are already being investigated in clinical trials.
Cite this as Pfaar O, Bachert C, Bufe A, Buhl R, Ebner C, Eng P, Friedrichs F, Fuchs T, Hamelmann E, Hartwig-Bade D, Hering T, Huttegger I, Jung K, Klimek L, Kopp MV, Merk H, Rabe U, Saloga J, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Schuster A, Schwerk N, Sitter H, Umpfenbach U, Wedi B, Wöhrl S, Worm M, Kleine-Tebbe J. Guideline on allergen-specific immunotherapy in IgE-mediated allergic diseases – S2k Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), the Society for Pediatric Allergy and Environmental Medicine (GPA), the Medical Association of German Allergologists (AeDA), the Austrian Society for Allergy and Immunology (ÖGAI), the Swiss Society for Allergy and Immunology (SGAI), the German Society of Dermatology (DDG), the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (DGHNO-KHC), the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ), the Society for Pediatric Pneumology (GPP), the German Respiratory Society (DGP), the German Association of ENT Surgeons (BV-HNO), the Professional Federation of Paediatricians and Youth Doctors (BVKJ), the Federal Association of Pulmonologists (BDP) and the German Dermatologists Association (BVDD). Allergo J Int 2014;23:282–319
PMCID: PMC4479478  PMID: 26120539
allergen-specific immunotherapy; AIT; Hyposensitization; guideline; allergen; allergen extract; allergic disease; allergic rhinitis; allergic asthma
13.  241 Nasal Cytology is Important in the Classification of Patients with Allergic and Non-Allergic Rhinitis 
The purpose of the study is the classification and clinical characterization of patients with allergic rhinitis and non-allergic and differentiate the presence of eosinophils and neutrophils in nasal cytology.
Prospective study of 405 patients with chronic symptoms of sneezes, pruritus, nasal congestion and rhinorrhea were evaluated by clinical examination, skin prick test and nasal cytology. Patients with diseases and/or treatments that could alter the outcome of these tests were excluded.
405 patients from 3 to 80 years were evaluated; 248 female patients (61%) and 157 males (39%). The sample was divided into 2 groups according to skin prick tests: allergic 270 (67%), 135 non-allergic (33%). The mean age of onset of symptoms was 14.27 and 23.47 years in allergic and nonallergic respectively. Nasal symptoms (nasal congestion, sneezes/pruritus, rhinorrhea, postnasal secretion) and signs (turbinates color and edema, secretion and oropharynx redness) were accessed using scores from 0 to 3, ranging from 0 to 24. In the allergic group the mean total nasal symptoms and signs scores were 6.64 and 4.66, while in non-allergic were 5.67 and 3.52. Allergic patients had an average 27.82% of eosinophils and 64.09% of neutrophils in nasal smears, whereas non-allergic patients 8.38% and 85.30%. Using skin prick test and nasal cytology we were able to diagnose allergic rhinitis in 69.6% (208) of the patients. 20.7% (62) had neutrophilic non-allergic rhinitis (NARNA) and 9.7% (29) non-allergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome (NARES). No idiopathic rhinitis patients were found.
The frequencies of the types of rhinitis were: allergic rhinitis 69.6%, RENA 9.7%, NARNA 20.7% and idiopathic rhinitis 0%. Despite the fact that each sub group of nonallergic rhinitis has particularities, in allergic rhinitis we found early onset of complaints, signs and symptoms more intense and a greater number of eosinophils, compared with the nonallergic patients.
PMCID: PMC3512858
14.  Skin Prick Test Reactivity to Common Aero and Food Allergens among Children with Allergy 
Background: The prevalence of allergic diseases has risen in the last decades. The objective of this study was to determine the common allergens in children via the skin prick test.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 313 allergic children (4 months to 18 years old) referred to the Asthma and Allergy Clinic of Children’s Medical Center in Tehran. A questionnaire containing demographic data and patient history was completed. The Skin Prick Test (SPT) was selected according to the patients’ history of food and/or aeroallergen sensitivity.
Results: Patients (62.4% male, 37.6% female) with symptoms of asthma (n=141, 57.1%), allergic rhinitis (n=50, 20.4%), atopic dermatitis (n=29, 11.7%), and urticaria (n=20, 8.1%) were studied. Positive skin prick test to at least one allergen was 58.1%. The most prevalent allergens were tree mix (26%), Alternaria alternata (26%), weed mix (23.6%), Dermatophagoides farinae (22.9%), Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (22.9%), milk (21.7%), eggs (20%), and wheat flour (18.3%). Also, common allergens in the patients with different symptoms of allergic disorders were as follows: asthma (tree mix, weed mix, and Dermatophagoides farinae); allergic rhinitis (Dermatophagoides farinae, tree mix, and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus); and atopic dermatitis (Alternaria alternata, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, and cockroaches).
Conclusion: Identifying allergens in each area is necessary and has an important role in the diagnosis and management of allergic disorders and possibility of performing immunotherapy. In this study, the most common aeroallergens were tree mix, Alternaria alternata, and weed mix and also the most common food allergens were milk, eggs, and wheat. Considering these data, appropriate preventive strategies can decrease the cost and morbidity of therapeutic actions.
PMCID: PMC3895892  PMID: 24453391
Allergens; Children; Skin test
15.  Differences in airway inflammation according to atopic status in patients with chronic rhinitis 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2012;2(4):248-255.
Chronic rhinitis is a heterogeneous group of diseases that cause nasal inflammation. And the nose may be a window into the lung in the concept of "one airway one disease."
This study was conducted to evaluate differences between the different forms of chronic rhinitis in terms of lower airway inflammation.
Patients that attended the allergy clinic and presented with moderate/severe persistent rhinitis symptoms for more than 1 year were enrolled. The patients with chronic rhinitis were classified into two groups (house dust mites [HDM]-sensitive allergic rhinitis [AR] or non-allergic rhinitis [NAR]) according to the presence of atopy, and additionally according to nasal polyposis and airway hyperresponsiveness, respectively. Medical records were reviewed and the mRNA expression levels of IL-5, IFN-γ, TGF-β1, IL-17A, and IL-25 were evaluated in induced sputum samples in each group.
Induced sputum samples of 53 patients were evaluated. Patients with NAR were significantly older than patients with HDM-sensitive AR (p < 0.05). Nasal polyposis was more prevalent in NAR patients than in HDM-sensitive AR patients (10.2% vs. 62.5%, p < 0.001). The expression levels of IL-17A mRNA were higher in NAR patients, regardless of the presence of airway hyperresponsiveness (p = 0.005).
These results suggest that patients with different forms of chronic rhinitis could have different inflammatory environments in their lower airway and NAR patients might have bronchial inflammation related to the elevated levels of IL-17A compared to HDM-sensitive AR patients.
PMCID: PMC3486969  PMID: 23130330
Rhinitis; Allergy; IL-17A; Nasal polyps; Sputum; Asthma
16.  The release of IL-31 and IL-13 after nasal allergen challenge and their relation to nasal symptoms 
IL-31, a recently discovered member of the gp130/IL-6 cytokine family, is mainly expressed by human mast cells and T helper type 2 cells. IL-31 is a key trigger of atopic dermatitis. Recent studies also suggest a role of IL-31 in the pathogenesis of other allergic diseases including allergic rhinitis. In the present study we studied the release of IL-31 and IL-13 in allergen-challenged allergic rhinitis patients.
Seven seasonal allergic volunteers underwent unilateral nasal provocation with allergen (and a control challenge) with the disc method out of the allergy season. Nasal symptom scores (rhinorrhea, itching, sneezing, obstruction) and bilateral nasal secretions were quantified before and after allergen provocation. IL-13 and IL-31 in nasal secretions and serum were measured by electrochemiluminescent immunoassay or ELISA, respectively.
Nasal allergen challenge induced the typical clinical symptoms and physiological changes. IL-31 and IL-13 in nasal secretions increased in four and five, respectively, volunteers at 5 h after allergen but not after control challenge. We observed correlation trends between nasal IL-31 concentrations and IL-13 concentrations (r = 0.9, p = 0.002), and IL-31 contents and symptom scores (r = 0.9, p = 0.013) 5 h after allergen provocation. No IL-31 could be detected contralaterally or systemically in the sera.
The observed local upregulation of IL-31 mainly during the late phase reaction after nasal allergen challenge suggests a role of IL-31 in allergic rhinitis. In which way IL-31 modulates the inflammatory reaction and type 2 responses in allergic rhinitis remains to be investigated.
PMCID: PMC3509028  PMID: 22853438
Nasal allergen; Nasal secretion; IL-13; IL-31; Kinetics
17.  Sensitization to airborne allergens among adults and its impact on allergic symptoms: a population survey in northern Vietnam 
The knowledge about allergic sensitization and its relationship with clinical symptoms and diseases among adults in South-East Asia is poor. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and pattern of allergic sensitization and the association with asthma and allergic rhinitis in adults in urban and rural Vietnam.
Among 5,782 responders to a questionnaire survey in northern Vietnam, a random sample was invited to a clinical follow-up and 684 (46%) participated. The methods included a structured interview using a modified GA2LEN study questionnaire on symptoms and possible determinants for diseases. Skin prick test (SPT) with ten common airborne indoor and outdoor allergens, lung function test, and methacholine test was performed among subjects ≤60 years of age.
In total, one third of subjects had a positive SPT reaction to at least one allergen, 36.9% of men and 31.0% of women (n.s.). The most common sensitizer was the storage mite B. tropicalis (men 27.7%; women 18.7%) followed by house dust mite D. pteronyssinus (men 16.5%; women 10.6%), and D. farinae (men 15.3%; women 6.3%), and cockroach (men 16.5%; women 10.2%). Sensitization to all major allergens were significantly more common among men and among subjects ≤45 years compared with women and subjects >45 years, respectively. The prevalence of sensitization to animals, pollen and molds were low. The majority of cockroach-sensitized subjects were also sensitized to mites. Sensitization to any allergen and all major allergens were significantly associated with rhinitis, but not with asthma. However, bronchial hyper-reactivity was significantly associated with increasing number of positive SPTs (p = 0.047).
Among adults in northern Vietnam sensitization to mite and cockroach most common in both rural and urban areas. The dominant sensitizer was the storage mite B. tropicalis, which should be included in future studies and also in clinical practice, owing to its association with clinical symptoms. As in the Western world allergic sensitization was associated with rhinitis and bronchial hyper-reactivity. The lack of association with asthma in South-East Asia needs to be studied further.
PMCID: PMC3923743  PMID: 24512828
Allergic sensitization; Asthma; Allergic rhinitis; Storage mite; Vietnam
18.  Allergen immunotherapy and allergic rhinitis: false beliefs 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:255.
Over the last 100 years, several persistent misconceptions or ‘false beliefs’ have built up around allergen immunotherapy and its use in allergic rhinitis. This is perhaps because enthusiastic physicians administered complex allergen extracts to a diverse population of patients suffering from heterogeneous atopic conditions. Here, we review evidence that counters seven of these ‘false beliefs.’
1. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be more heterogeneous, more severe and more troublesome in everyday life than many physicians believe. Large-scale epidemiological surveys show that the majority of allergic rhinitis patients have at least one symptom severe enough to interfere with sleep quality, productivity and/or well-being. 2. Allergen immunotherapy is not necessarily suitable for all allergic rhinitis patients (notably those with mild symptoms). Recent evidence from double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials suggests that the more severe the disease, the greater the treatment effect. 3. Allergen immunotherapy is often accused of lack of efficacy (relative to pharmacotherapy, for example). However, there are now many meta-analyses, systematic reviews and high-quality clinical trials that find overwhelmingly in favor of the efficacy of allergen immunotherapy (including sublingual formulations) in allergic rhinitis induced by pollen and, increasingly, other allergens. 4. Natural-exposure and challenge-chamber trials have shown that symptom relief may become apparent within months or even weeks of the initiation of allergen immunotherapy. 5. In pollen-induced allergic rhinitis, several years of subcutaneous or sublingual allergen immunotherapy are associated with sustained clinical efficacy after subsequent treatment cessation – confirming the disease-modifying nature of this therapy. 6. Most patients seeking treatment for allergic rhinitis are polysensitized, and allergen immunotherapy has proven efficacy in large, robust clinical trials in these groups. Polysensitization is not a contraindication to allergen immunotherapy. 7. Sublingual allergen immunotherapy is safe for home administration. A recent review calculated that 1 billion doses were administered worldwide between 2000 and 2010 and found that the 11 case reports of anaphylaxis (all non-fatal) corresponded to non-standard practice.
Modern, evidence-based medicine has generated more than enough robust evidence to remove misconceptions about allergen immunotherapy and allergic rhinitis.
PMCID: PMC4029303  PMID: 24314210
Allergen; Immunotherapy; Specific; Sublingual; Subcutaneous; Desensitization; Vaccination
19.  Diseases of the nose and paranasal sinuses in child 
Diseases of the pediatric nose and nasal sinuses as well as neighboring anatomical structures encompass a variety of pathologies, especially of inflammatory nature. Congenital disease, such as malformations and structural deviations of the nasal septum, as well as systemic metabolic pathologies affecting the nose and sinuses, rarely require medical therapy from an Otolaryngologist.
The immunological function of the mucosa and genetic factors play a role in the development of disease in the pediatric upper airway tract, especially due to the constantly changing anatomy in this growth phase. Disease description of the nose and nasal sinuses due to mid-facial growth must also take developmental age differences (infant, toddler, preschool, and school age) into account. Epidemiological examinations and evidence based studies are often lacking in the pediatric population.
The wide range of inflammatory diseases of the nose and paranasal sinuses, such as the acute and chronic rhinosinusitis, the allergic rhinitis, and adenoid disease, play a role in the susceptibility of a child to infection. The susceptibility to infection depends on the pediatric age structure (infant, young child) and has yet to be well defined. The acute rhinosinusitis in children develops after a viral infection of the upper airways, also referred to as the “common cold” in the literature. It usually spontaneously heals within ten days without any medical therapy. Antibiotic therapy is prudent in complicated episodes of ARS. The antibiotic therapy is reserved for children with complications or associated disease, such as bronchial asthma and/or chronic bronchitis. A chronic rhinosinusitis is defined as the inflammatory change in the nasal mucosa and nasal sinus mucosa, in which the corresponding symptoms persist for over 12 weeks. The indication for CT-imaging of the nasal sinuses is reserved for cases of chronic rhinosinusitis that have been successfully treated with medication. A staged therapeutic concept is followed in CRS based on conservative and surgical methods. Nasal sinus surgery is considered nowadays as effective and safe in children. Based on the assumption that adenoids are a reservoir for bacteria, from which recurrent infections of the nose and nasal sinus originate, the adenoidectomy is still defined as a cleansing procedure in rhinosinusitis. 69.3% of the children had benefit from adenoidectomy.
Comorbidities, such as pediatric bronchial asthma, presently play an even more important role in the therapy of rhinosinusitis; therefore, it is often wise to have the support of pediatricians. In western European countries 40% of children presently suffer from allergic rhinitis, in which pronounced nasal obstruction can cause disturbed growth in facial bones. An early therapy with SIT may prevent the development of bronchial asthma and secondary sensitization to other allergens. Therefore, SIT is recommended in treatment of allergic rhinitis whenever, if possible. The assessment of diagnostic tools is for the examiner not often possible due to the lack of evidence. Rhinosurgical approaches are often described in study reports; however, they lack the standard prospective randomized long-term study design required nowadays and can only be evaluated with caution in the literature.
PMCID: PMC4273171  PMID: 25587370
nose; paranasal sinuses; childhood; diseases; rhinosinusitis
20.  Epidemiology of seasonal and perennial rhinitis: clinical presentation and medical history. 
Thorax  1991;46(12):895-901.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the epidemiology of rhinitis, particularly the perennial and non-allergic forms. The aim of this study was to compare the symptoms, atopic state, and medical history of individuals with seasonal and perennial rhinitis. DESIGN: Of 7702 adults aged 16-65 years registered with a London general practice, 2969 (30%) were screened by postal questionnaire. Samples of 113 subjects without rhinitis, 51 with seasonal symptoms alone, 128 with perennial symptoms and seasonal exacerbations were then interviewed. Atopic and non-atopic subjects were distinguished by skinprick testing with five common allergens. RESULTS: The estimated minimum prevalence of rhinitis was 24%: 3% had seasonal symptoms only, of whom 78% were atopic; 13% had perennial symptoms only, of whom 50% were atopic; and 8% had perennial symptoms with seasonal exacerbations, of whom 68% were atopic. Seasonal rhinitis was characterised by sneezing, itching, and a high prevalence of diurnal variation in symptoms. The most common provoking factors were dust, pollens, and infections. By comparison, perennial rhinitis was characterised by a higher prevalence of nasal blockage and catarrh, and a lower prevalence of diurnal variation and provocation by pollen. There were no significant differences among the groups in the sociodemographic characteristics examined. Subjects with seasonal rhinitis were more likely to be atopic and to have eczema and a family history of hayfever than those without rhinitis. Those with perennial rhinitis were more likely to have past or current eczema or migraine, be wheezy or labelled asthmatic, or have a family history of nose trouble other than hayfever. Subjects with both seasonal and perennial symptoms presented an intermediate clinical picture. CONCLUSIONS: Seasonal and perennial rhinitis differ in their atopic state, clinical presentation, and medical history. The extent to which these differences are genetically or environmentally determined requires further investigation.
PMCID: PMC463495  PMID: 1792637
21.  Therapeutic Effects of Fermented Red Ginseng in Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study 
Allergic rhinitis is clinically defined as a disorder of the nose induced by IgE mediated inflammation after allergen exposure of the nasal mucosa. Many reports have stated that Panax ginseng and fermented red ginseng have anti-inflammatory effects, especially against Th2-type inflammation. This study was conducted to evaluate the therapeutic effects of fermented red ginseng in allergic rhinitis.
In this 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 59 patients with persistent perennial allergic rhinitis were randomly divided into two groups: those receiving fermented red ginseng tablets (experimental group) and those receiving placebo (control group). The primary efficacy variable was the total nasal symptom score (TNSS; rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchy nose, and nasal congestion). Secondary efficacy variables were the Rhinitis Quality of Life (RQoL) score and skin reactivity to inhalant allergens, as determined by the skin prick test.
There was no significant difference in the TNSS score and TNSS duration score between the experimental and placebo groups in weeks 1, 2, 3, or 4. For nasal congestion, fermented red ginseng was significantly effective (P<0.005), while placebo caused no change. The activity and emotion of RQoL improved markedly secondary to treatment with fermented red ginseng (P<0.05), while placebo caused no change. Additionally, fermented red ginseng reduced skin reactivity to sensitized perennial allergens (P<0.05). Fermented red ginseng was well tolerated.
Fermented red ginseng improved nasal congestion symptoms and RQoL in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis.
PMCID: PMC3062788  PMID: 21461249
Allergic rhinitis; alternative medicine; fermented ginseng; ginsenoside
22.  Atopic profile of patients failing medical therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis 
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammatory condition of the nasal airway and paranasal sinuses that can broadly be classified into Chronic rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP) and Chronic rhinosinusitis without Nasal Polyps (CRSsNP). The relationship between CRS and atopy to inhalant allergens remains unclear. We sought to examine the presence of atopy in patients failing medical therapy for both types of CRS.
To analyze the frequency and distribution of allergen sensitivity in patients failing medical therapy for CRSwNP and CRSsNP in comparison to rhinitis patients without CRS and the general population.
A prospectively collected database of 334 consecutive CRS patients who had surgery after failing maximal medical therapy was queried to identify those who met inclusion criteria: a Sinus Computed Tomography(CT), an endoscopy consistent with CRS and skin-prick testing with 24 common inhalant allergens in 8 classes at our institution (n=125). Additionally, data from these CRS patients were compared to a group of 50 patients diagnosed with rhinitis who had similar symptoms but radiologically normal CT scans, as well as published normative population skin prick testing data obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study III (NHANES III). The relationship between atopy, as assessed by the frequency of skin test positivity, and radiological disease severity was assessed for several allergen classes in CRSwNP, CRSsNP and rhinitis patients.
One or more positive skin results were observed in 103/125 (82.4%) CRS patients who underwent surgery- a prevalence significantly higher than that found in the NHANES III study (p<0.05) but not different from the rhinitis control group (36/50 -72.0 %). The most prevalent positive skin test results were to dust mites and ragweed in CRSwNP, CRSsNP and rhinitis patients. Comparing these three patient groups, there were no significant differences in the rates of positive skin test results to any single allergen. However, the median number of skin test positive results was higher in CRSwNP patients compared to CRSsNP and rhinitis patients. Consistent with other studies, we found that CRSwNP patients were more likely to be male and have concurrent asthma.
In our series of patients failing medical therapy for CRS, we found higher rates of atopy compared with the general population but not compared with rhinitis patients. CRSwNP patients with medically refractory sinusitis were more likely to have multiple positive skin tests and asthma as compared to the general population or patients with either CRSsNP or rhinitis. Host barrier dysfunction may play a role in enabling multisensitization.
PMCID: PMC3124760  PMID: 21731824
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery; Atopy; Asthma; Upper Airway; Chronic Rhinosinusitis; Nasal Polyposis
23.  Management of Rhinitis: Allergic and Non-Allergic 
Rhinitis is a global problem and is defined as the presence of at least one of the following: congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal itching, and nasal obstruction. The two major classifications are allergic and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR). Allergic rhinitis occurs when an allergen is the trigger for the nasal symptoms. NAR is when obstruction and rhinorrhea occurs in relation to nonallergic, noninfectious triggers such as change in the weather, exposure to caustic odors or cigarette smoke, barometric pressure differences, etc. There is a lack of concomitant allergic disease, determined by negative skin prick test for relevant allergens and/or negative allergen-specific antibody tests. Both are highly prevalent diseases that have a significant economic burden on society and negative impact on patient quality of life. Treatment of allergic rhinitis includes allergen avoidance, antihistamines (oral and intranasal), intranasal corticosteroids, intranasal cromones, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and immunotherapy. Occasional systemic corticosteroids and decongestants (oral and topical) are also used. NAR has 8 major subtypes which includes nonallergic rhinopathy (previously known as vasomotor rhinitis), nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia, atrophic rhinitis, senile rhinitis, gustatory rhinitis, drug-induced rhinitis, hormonal-induced rhinitis, and cerebral spinal fluid leak. The mainstay of treatment for NAR are intranasal corticosteroids. Topical antihistamines have also been found to be efficacious. Topical anticholinergics such as ipratropium bromide (0.03%) nasal spray are effective in treating rhinorrhea symptoms. Adjunct therapy includes decongestants and nasal saline. Investigational therapies in the treatment of NAR discussed include capsaicin, silver nitrate, and acupuncture.
PMCID: PMC3121056  PMID: 21738880
Allergic rhinitis; nonallergic rhinitis; intranasal corticosteroids; immunotherapy; intranasal antihistamines; oral antihistamines
24.  Evaluation of the applicability of the Immuno-solid-phase allergen chip (ISAC) assay in atopic patients in Singapore 
Molecular-based allergy diagnostics are gaining popularity in clinical practice. Our aim was to evaluate their role in the tropics, given the inherent genetic and environmental differences.
We recruited subjects with history of atopy and collected data on demographics and atopic symptoms using validated questionnaires. Subjects underwent a series of skin prick tests (SPT). Serum total and specific IgE levels were measured using ImmunoCAP FEIA and ImmunoCAP ISAC®, respectively. We describe their pattern of sensitization and agreement between test methods.
A total of 135 subjects were recruited; mean ± SD age of 31.18 ± 12.72 years, 52.7% female. Allergic rhinitis (AR) was the most prevalent clinical manifestation of atopy (70.7%), followed by atopic dermatitis (AD) (50.5%) and asthma (26.2%). Polysensitization was seen in 51.1% of subjects by both SPT and ISAC. House dust mites (HDM) were the dominant allergen, with sensitization in 67.8% and 62% of subjects on SPT and ISAC, respectively. A group of subjects with monosensitization to B. tropicalis was identified. HDM sensitization was strongly associated with AR, while AD and asthma were not associated with sensitization to any allergen. Agreement between SPT and ISAC was mostly suboptimal. Greatest agreement was documented for the measurement of HDM sensitization with both methods (κ = 0.64). Sensitization to the bulk of the remaining allergens in the ISAC panel was infrequent.
Multiplex methods should not be used as a screening tool, especially in a population with lower rates of polysensitization and a dominant sensitizing allergen. There may be a role in adjusting the antigen spectrum in the ISAC panel to regional differences.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13601-015-0053-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4349609  PMID: 25741438
ISAC; Specific IgE; Atopy; Sensitization; Skin prick test
25.  371 Cutaneous Response to Patch Tests with Dermatophagoides Farinae and Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus in Patients with Chronic Rhinitis 
Rhinitis is characterized clinical by chronic runny nose, sneezing, nasal itching, congestion and postnasal discharge, among other symptoms. It´s classified as allergic and non allergic. Skin prick testing is the principal diagnosis method for allergic rhinits. However, there is a group of patients with chronic rhinopathy that have negative skin tests, the objective of this study was to determine the cutaneous response to patch tests with Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in patients with chronic rhinitis.
It was a cross-sectional, observational and descriptive study. We included patients over 18 years old. They were divided into 3 groups; Group A patients who came for the first time with a history of chronic rhinopathy over 18 months of evolution and positive skin tests for aeroallergens; group B patients with chronic rhinitis with at least one year of evolution and negative skin tests; group C healthy volunteers. Patch test with farinae and pteronisyinnus were done in the subjects of all 3 groups, with readings at 48 and 72 hours.
A total of 37 patients were studied, mean age 26.1 years. Twenty two were male subjects (60%). The mean lenghtof chronic rhinophaty was 10.8 years. Six patients had positive patch test to any of the mites tested; 2 (33%) in group A, 2 (33%) in group B and 2 (33%) of the control group, but it was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
Although the results were not statistically significant, there were patients with chronic rhinitis wich had positive patch test for mites. This sensitization could be clinically significant for those patients.
PMCID: PMC3512752

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