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1.  Effects of cromolyn sodium on isolated rat's trachea 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e46-e50.
Cromolyn sodium (cromolyn) effectively inhibits both antigen- and exercise-induced asthma when used as an aerosol. Intranasal cromolyn is also recommended for preventing and treating allergic rhinitis. By inhibiting the degranulation of sensitized mast cells, cromolyn reduces the release of mediators that trigger inflammation and the allergic response. The precise pharmacologic activity of cromolyn has not been fully elucidated. This study evaluated the effect of cromolyn on isolated rat's trachea. The following assessments of cromolyn were performed: (1) effect on tracheal resting tension, (2) effect on contraction caused by 10−6 M of methacholine as a parasympathetic mimetic, and (3) effect of the drug on electrically induced tracheal contractions. The results indicated cromolyn could inhibit electrical field stimulation-induced spike contraction when the preparation was increased to 10−4M. Adding cromolyn at doses of ≥10−8 M did not elicit a relaxation or contraction response to 10−6 M of methacholine-induced contraction. It alone had a minimal effect on the basal tension of the trachea as the concentration increased. This study indicates cromolyn had no cholinergic or anticholinergic effect and high concentrations of cromolyn might actually inhibit parasympathetic function of the trachea. Inhibiting parasympathetic function of the trachea through stabilizing the presynaptic nerve by cromolyn may be responsible for protecting patients against antigen- and exercise-induced asthma.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0015
PMCID: PMC3390115  PMID: 22852116
Cromolyn; in vitro study smooth muscle; trachea
2.  Oral curcumin supplementation in patients with atopic asthma 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e51-e53.
Oral curcumin is recognized to have anti-inflammatory properties and has been used by ancient traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of diseases. In vitro studies have confirmed the ability of curcumin to inhibit allergic inflammatory cytokine responses from lymphocytes; however, there are no in vivo studies of curcumin to treat inflammation associated with allergic asthma. This study was designed to determine the effect of oral curcumin supplementation on patients with stable, persistent, atopic asthma. Adult patients with stable, persistent asthma with evidence of allergic sensitization were randomized to receive 1000 mg of curcumin twice daily or placebo. Subjects were followed for 6 months and performed monthly spirometry (pre- and postbronchodilator); Asthma Control Test (ACT) scoring; and measurements for fractional excretion of nitric oxide (NO), serum eosinophil count, leukocyte count, total IgE, specific IgE to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f), use of rescue albuterol, and dose of inhaled corticosteroid. Nine patients were randomized into the treatment arm and six were randomized into the placebo group. No differential response was seen in the treatment and placebo groups regarding the primary end point, postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). Similarly, all secondary end point evaluations were not significantly different. Despite in vitro evidence that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and can inhibit allergic cytokine responses from lymphocytes in vitro, curcumin, 1000-mg, twice daily supplementation did not significantly affect postbronchodilator FEV1, ACT scores, use of rescue bronchodilator, dose of inhaled corticosteroid, exhaled NO, serum IgE, total white blood cell count specific IgE to Der p or Der f, and blood eosinophils in patients with persistent atopic asthma.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0016
PMCID: PMC3390116  PMID: 22852117
Allergy; asthma; curcumin; herbal
3.  Postoperative cephazolin usage is sufficient for preventing infection after septoplasty procedure 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e54-e57.
The use of antibiotics in septoplasty is a common practice among most ear, nose, and throat doctors; however, there are few studies proving the efficacy, which is considered as unnecessary by some authors. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of two different kinds of antimicrobial agent on efficacy and safety after septoplasty surgery and to show that use of cephazolin, 1.0 g, postoperatively, might be sufficient for preventing infection after septoplasty procedure. Patients were randomly divided into two groups with a simple randomization method. The first group of 80 patients received cephazolin, 1.0 g i.v., once postoperatively and the second group of 80 patients received amoxicillin–clavulanate orally for 7 days postoperatively (1000 mg). An early and late postoperative questionnaire and nasal endoscopy evaluation was performed and patients were followed up in the outpatient service to investigate the presence of complications. There was no significant difference in postoperative pain between groups A and B, using visual analog scale scores at the 1st postoperative day. There were no differences related to the amount of purulent discharge found at the lower margin of the inferior turbinate through nasal endoscopy performed on the 14th day postoperatively. There were no statistical significances among groups for complications rates and postoperative endoscopic evaluation. Septoplasties are considered potentially contaminated surgeries, and cephazolin, 1.0 g i.v., given once postoperatively is enough to prevent potential complications with its easy and effective use.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.3.0013
PMCID: PMC3390117  PMID: 22852118
Amoxicillin; antibiotics; cephazolin; complication; postoperative; septoplasty
4.  A case of uncontrolled asthma 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e58-e62.
A 48-year-old female patient with uncontrolled severe asthma was referred to our hospital for anti-IgE therapy. She was suffering with persistent wheezing and dyspnea after a severe asthma attack that had taken place 5 months previously. Her asthma had not been controlled with adequate asthma treatment, including budesonide at 320 μg + formoterol at 9 μg b.i.d. combination, montelukast at 10 mg/day, and oral steroids (30–40 mg/day of prednisolone), during this period. She was hospitalized for evaluation for anti-IgE therapy. Chest radiography revealed a left-sided hilar opacity. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed and showed an endobronchial lesion obstructing the left lower bronchus lumen. Computed tomography also revealed a nodular lesion at the same location. The patient underwent left lower lobectomy and mediastinal lymph node dissection. Pathological examination concluded the diagnosis of typical carcinoid tumor. After surgery, her symptoms disappeared and she has had no recurrence. In conclusion, a diagnosis of severe asthma requires confirmation of asthma. Uncontrolled symptoms that linger despite aggressive therapy warrant evaluation to rule out other etiologies, such as a carcinoid tumor, before selecting new treatment options.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0017
PMCID: PMC3390118  PMID: 22852119
Asthma; carcinoid tumor; intrabronchial tumor; pulmonary carcinoids; severe allergic asthma; typical carcinoid tumor; uncontrolled asthma
6.  Role of ADAM33 gene and associated single nucleotide polymorphisms in asthma 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e63-e70.
Asthma is a multifactorial disorder, primarily resulting from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. ADAM33 gene (located on chromosome 20p13) has been reported to play an important role in asthma. This review article is intended to include all of the publications, to date, which have assessed the association of ADAM33 gene polymorphisms as well as have shown the role of ADAM33 gene in airway remodeling and their expression with asthma. A PubMed search was performed for studies published between 1990 and 2010. The terms “ADAM33,” “ADAM33 gene and asthma,” and “ADAM33 gene polymorphisms” were used as search criteria. Based on available literature we can only speculate its role in the morphogenesis and functions of the lung. Fourteen studies conducted in different populations were found showing an association of ADAM33 gene polymorphisms with asthma. However, none of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ADAM33 gene had found association with asthma across all ethnic groups. Because higher expression of ADAM33 is found in the fibroblast and smooth muscle cells of the lung, over- or underexpression of ADAM33 gene may result in alterations in airway remodeling and repair processes. However, no SNP of ADAM33 gene showed significant associations with asthma across all ethnic groups; the causative polymorphism, if any, still has to be identified.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0018
PMCID: PMC3390120  PMID: 22852121
ADAM33; airway remodeling; association studies; asthma; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; chronic inflammatory disorder; multifactorial disorder; pathogenesis of asthma; positional cloning; single-nucleotide polymorphism
7.  Adult seafood allergy in the Texas Medical Center: A 13-year experience 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e71-e77.
There is a paucity of data regarding prevalence and characteristics of adult seafood allergy in United States cohorts. This study was designed to determine the characteristics of patient-reported seafood allergy in a large allergy referral adult population. Retrospective analysis was performed of laboratory and clinical characteristics of seafood-allergic patients in three allergy clinics in the Texas Medical Center between January 1, 1997 and January 30, 2010. Of 5162 patients seen in this adult allergy referral population, 159 had physician-diagnosed seafood allergy with an average age of diagnosis of 50.2 (18–81 years) years. Shellfish allergy (59.1%) was more frequent than fish allergy (13.8%). Crustacean allergy (82.6%) was more frequent than mollusk allergy (7.2%). Shrimp (72.5%), crab (34.8%), and lobster (17.4%) were the most common shellfish allergies and tuna (28.6%), catfish (23.8%), and salmon (23.8%) were the most common fish allergies. One-third of seafood-allergic patients reported reactions to more than one seafood. Shellfish-allergic adults were more likely to experience respiratory symptoms than fish-allergic adults (p < 0.05). The likelihood of having anaphylaxis (32%) was not statistically different between shellfish- and fish-allergic subjects. Severe reactions were 12.9 times more likely to occur within the 1st hour of ingestion compared with nonsevere reactions (p < 0.005). The percentage of seafood allergy in this adult allergy referral population was 3.08%.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0019
PMCID: PMC3390121  PMID: 22852122
Anaphylaxis; fish; food allergy; hypersensitivity; seafood; shrimp; urticaria
8.  Note from the Editor 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):1.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0010
PMCID: PMC3390122  PMID: 22852106
9.  Is routine nasoendoscopy warranted in epistaxis patients after removal of nasal packing? 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):12-15.
Fiberoptic nasoendoscopy (FNE) is a powerful investigative tool in ear, nose, and throat practice in which its use in the management of epistaxis is varied among clinicians. The practice of assessing the nasal cavity after removal of nasal packs is common but its usefulness has not been evaluated. Therefore, we assessed the benefits of routine FNE after removal of nasal packs in epistaxis patients. Our study was performed retrospectively involving 62 adult patients admitted over a 6-month period between 2005 and 2006. Data regarding the emergent management of epistaxis cases on presentation, the use of FNE, and the final diagnosis and outcome of each patient were specifically investigated during the study. Anterior rhinoscopy was performed in 27 patients at initial presentation, of whom 45% (10/27) had anterior bleeding points identified. FNE examination after removal of nasal packs in eight patients yielded evidence of a posterior bleeding point in only one case (12.5%). Of those patients in whom anterior rhinoscopy revealed no anterior bleeding point at presentation (17/27), 12 patients went on to have FNE after removal of their nasal packs, and of these, 33% (4/12) of patients were found to have a posterior bleeding vessel. Overall, FNE was performed in 24 patients, of whom only 1 (1/24) had an active posterior bleeding vessel needing nasal repacking. Four patients (4/24) had prominent posterior vessels that required no intervention, 1 patient (1/24) had new pathology identified, and in the remaining 18 cases (18/24), FNE yielded no additional information to modify management. The routine performance of FNE in all epistaxis patients after pack removal does not appear to convey any additional benefit. We advocate the use of FNE when anterior bleeding has been excluded or bleeding is persistent and that careful nasal examination by anterior rhinoscopy should be the cornerstone of assessment.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0003
PMCID: PMC3390123  PMID: 22852109
Epistaxis; fibreoptic nasendoscopy
10.  Expression of bone morphogenic protein in sinonasal inverted papilloma with new bone formation 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):16-20.
Inverted papilloma (IP) is a common benign tumor in the nose and sinus. Osteogenesis in sinonasal IP is extremely rare; to date, only five cases of IP with new bone formation appear in the literature. In addition, the mechanism of osteogenesis in IP remains unclear. Here, we describe three cases of IP with new bone formation and an investigation into a possible role for bone morphogenic protein (BMP) in osteogenesis. Of three patients with sinonasal IP with new bone formation, two were treated by endoscopic sinus surgery and one was followed up with watchful waiting. Tumor tissues were subjected to immunohistochemistry to detect BMP expression. The patients were successfully treated surgically and showed no evidence of recurrence postoperatively. Follow-up examination is ongoing. Immunohistochemically, the tumors expressed BMP-4 but not BMP-2 or BMP-7. ESS could be successfully used to achieve complete removal of the sinonasal IPs with new bone formation. BMP-4 might be associated with new bone formation in the tumor.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0004
PMCID: PMC3390124  PMID: 22852110
Bone formation; bone morphogenic protein; endoscopic sinus surgery; inverted papilloma; sinonasal
11.  Indoor fungal concentration in the homes of allergic/asthmatic children in Delhi, India 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):21-32.
Allergy to fungi has been linked to a wide range of illnesses, including rhinitis and asthma. Therefore, exposure to fungi in home environment is an important factor for fungal allergy. The present study was aimed to investigate types of airborne fungi inside and outside the homes of asthmatic children and control subjects (nonasthmatic children). The dominant fungi were evaluated for their quantitative distribution and seasonal variation. The air samples were collected from indoors and immediate outdoors of 77 selected homes of children suffering from bronchial asthma/allergic rhinitis using Andersen volumetric air sampler. The isolated fungal genera/species were identified using reference literature, and statistical analysis of the dominant fungi was performed to study the difference in fungal concentration between indoor and immediate outdoor sites as well as in between different seasons. A total of 4423 air samples were collected from two indoor and immediate outdoor sites in a 1-year survey of 77 homes. This resulted in the isolation of an average of 110,091 and 107,070 fungal colonies per metric cube of air from indoor and outdoor sites, respectively. A total of 68 different molds were identified. Different species of Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Penicillium were found to be the most prevalent fungi in Delhi homes, which constituted 88.6% of the total colonies indoors. Highest concentration was registered in autumn and winter months. Total as well as dominant fungi displayed statistically significant differences among the four seasons (p < 0.001). The largest number of isolations were the species of Aspergillus (>40% to total colony-forming units in indoors as well as outdoors) followed by Cladosporium spp. Annual concentration of Aspergillus spp. was significantly higher (p < 0.05) inside the homes when compared with outdoors. Most of the fungi also occurred at a significantly higher (p < 0.001) rate inside the homes when compared with immediate outdoors. Asthmatic children in Delhi are exposed to a substantial concentration of mold inside their homes as well as immediate outdoor air. The considerable seasonal distributions of fungi provide valuable data for investigation of the role of fungal exposure as a risk for respiratory disorders among patients suffering from allergy or asthma in Delhi.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0005
PMCID: PMC3390125  PMID: 22852111
Asthma; Delhi; indoor fungi; prevalence; respiratory allergy; seasonal variation
12.  Reproducibility, validity, and responsiveness of cell counts in blown nasal secretions 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):3-5.
Cell counts in nasal secretions are not used in routine clinical practice to decide on anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial therapy. This study investigated the reproducibility, reliability (validity), and responsiveness of cell counts in blown nasal secretions with a view to implementing this in routine clinical practice. Nasal secretions were obtained from 19 subjects with allergic rhinitis on 3 days in random order (each separated by 1–2 days) by spontaneously blowing their noses (on 2 days) and by a nasal lavage by the modified Grunberg method on the 3rd day. Total and differential cell counts were performed after dispersing the solutions with dithiothreitol as described previously. At the end of the study, subjects had 1 week of open label treatment with nasal corticosteroids if they had nasal eosinophilia or an antibiotic if they had nasal neutrophilia. If the cell counts were normal, they were not treated. The proportion of eosinophil (%) was highly reproducible (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC], 0.93), and the total cell count (×106/g) and the proportion of neutrophil (%) were modestly reproducible in blown nasal secretions (ICC, 0.46 and 0.55, respectively). The total cell count was consistently and significantly higher in the blown nasal secretions. The proportion of eosinophils (Rs = 0.4; p < 0.05) and neutrophils (Rs = 0.6; p < 0.05) showed modest correlation in the two types of samples. The responsiveness index for eosinophil count was 4.0 and for neutrophil count was 1.5. Total and differential cell counts can be reliably and reproducibly obtained from spontaneously blown nasal secretions. The cell counts are responsive to treatment and can help identify allergic and infective rhinosinusitis and guide therapy and are easy to implement in routine clinical practice.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0006
PMCID: PMC3390126  PMID: 22852107
Blown nasal secretions; cell counts; nasal lavage; repeatability; validity
13.  Assessment of synthetic glucocorticoids in asthmatic sputum 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):33-35.
Nonadherence with anti-inflammatory treatment is a frequent cause of continued symptoms in asthmatic patients. Clinical assessments including patient-reported medication administration may provide the asthma specialist incomplete information regarding actual adherence to anti-inflammatory medications. The objective of this report was to describe the first case where adherence to inhaled asthma therapy was assessed by direct analysis of glucocorticoids in induced sputum. The patient's blood, urine, and sputum were tested for synthetic corticosteroids using mass spectrometry. To evaluate a clinical suspicion of poor adherence, sputum, urine, and blood were used to assess for current compliance to medication use. We report a case where asthma specialists attributed poorly controlled asthma to nonadherence to medical therapy. After modification of the medical regimen, adherence with oral and inhaled steroids was assessed—via examination of the urine, blood, and sputum. Direct analysis of glucocorticoids in sputum is feasible and in theory could provide a novel tool to document current medication adherence. Concomitant assessment of glucocorticoids and eosinophils in the same induced sputum specimen could provide insight into possible steroid resistance in select referral patients with difficult asthma.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0002
PMCID: PMC3390127  PMID: 22852112
Adherence; asthma; budesonide; drug monitoring; fluticasone propionate; methylprednisolone; prednisolone; prednisone; steroids; steroid dependent
14.  Skull base defect in a patient with ozena undergoing dacryocystorhinostomy 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):36-39.
Ozena, which is often used interchangeably with atrophic rhinitis or empty nose syndrome, is a progressive and chronically debilitating nasal disease that results in atrophy of the nasal mucosa, nasal crusting, fetor, and destruction of submucosal structures. Although the etiology is not completely understood, infection with Klebsiella ozaenae is widely believed to contribute to the destructive changes. We present a case of a patient with ozena secondary to K. ozaenae with extensive destruction of bony structures of the nasal cavity undergoing elective dacryocystorhinostomy. An extensively thinned skull base secondary to the disease process resulted in an unforeseen complication in which the skull base was entered leading to a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Patients with known history of ozena or atrophic rhinitis often have extensive destruction of the lateral nasal wall and skull base secondary to progression of disease. Submucosal destruction of these bony structures mandates the need for extreme caution when planning on performing endoscopic intervention at or near the skull base. If physical examination or nasal endoscopy is suspicious for atrophic rhinitis or a patient has a known history of infection with K. ozaenae, we recommend preoperative imaging for surgical planning with careful attention to skull base anatomy.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0007
PMCID: PMC3390128  PMID: 22852113
Atrophic rhinitis; cerebrospinal fluid leak; cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea; CSF; dacryocystorhinostomy; DCR; empty nose syndrome; endoscopic sinus surgery; ozena; Klebsiella ozaenae; skull base; skull base defect
15.  Temporal lobe abscess in a patient with isolated sphenoiditis 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):40-42.
A 74-year-old immunocompetent man admitted for severe retro-orbital headache was diagnosed with isolated sphenoiditis. At the time of scheduled surgery, the patient was mildly obtunded, and a head CT revealed a temporal lobe abscess. The patient underwent a left temporal craniectomy and a bilateral endoscopic sphenoid sinusotomy, which revealed gross fungal debris. The patient made a full recovery with resolution of abscess and sinus findings. Suspicion for intracranial infection should be raised in any sinus patient with neurological changes. Early diagnosis with imaging studies is extremely important for surgical drainage before permanent neurological sequelae.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0001
PMCID: PMC3390129  PMID: 22852114
Abcess; allergic sinusitis; fungal infection; headache; sinonasal; sphenoiditis; temporal lobe
16.  Allergic reaction to mint leads to asthma 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):43-45.
Respiratory and cutaneous adverse reactions to mint can result from several different mechanisms including IgE-mediated hypersensitivity, delayed-type hypersensitivity (contact dermatitis), and nonimmunologic histamine release. Reactions to cross-reacting plants of the Labiatae family, such as oregano and thyme, as well as to the chemical turpentine, may clue the clinician in on the diagnosis of mint allergy. Contact dermatitis can result from menthol in peppermint. Contact allergens have been reported in toothpastes, which often are mint-flavored. Allergic asthma from mint is less well-recognized. A case of a 54-year-old woman with dyspnea on exposure to the scent of peppermint is presented in whom mint exposure, as seemingly innocuous as the breath of others who had consumed Tic Tac candies, exacerbated her underlying asthma. This case highlights the importance of testing with multiple alternative measures of specific IgE to mint, including skin testing with mint extract, and skin testing with fresh mint leaves. Additionally, this cases suggests that asthma can result from inhaling the scent of mint and gives consideration to obtaining confirmatory pre- and postexposure pulmonary function data by both impulse oscillometry and spirometry.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0008
PMCID: PMC3390130  PMID: 22852115
Allergic asthma; allergy; asthma; contact dermatitis; IgE; mint; mint leaves; peppermint; skin test
17.  Sinonasal risk factors for the development of invasive fungal sinusitis in hematological patients: Are they important? 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(1):6-11.
Invasive fungal sinusitis (IFS) is a highly aggressive infection that can affect hematologic patients. The classically described general risk factors, however, do not fully explain the development of IFS in a small percentage of cases. This study examined the impact of anatomic sinonasal factors and environmental factors on the development of IFS in high-risk patients. Medical records and computed tomography (CT) scans of patients admitted to our institution who were at high risk of developing IFS were retrospectively reviewed. Twenty-seven patients of 797 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Patients affected by IFS were compared with patients not affected to identify possible sinonasal and environmental risk factors of IFS. Seven patients were excluded because of the lack of adequate radiological images. Six of the 20 eligible patients were assigned to the study group of patients affected by IFS and the remaining 14 patients were assigned to the control group. All but one case developed the infection during the summer with a significantly higher mean environmental temperature (p = 0.002). Anatomic nasal alterations were found in all patients affected by IFS and were significantly more frequent than in the control group (p = 0.014). It would be advisable to have patients with hematologic risk factors of IFS, especially during the summer period, undergo endoscopic nasal assessment. Furthermore, a CT finding of anatomic nasal alterations, such as anterior nasal septum deviation causing nasal obstruction, should increase the suspicion of IFS in case of the occurrence of nasal symptoms.
doi:10.2500/ar.2011.2.0009
PMCID: PMC3390131  PMID: 22852108
fungal infection; hematologic malignancy; invasive fungal sinusitis; nasal endoscopy; sinonasal risk factors; sinus endoscopic surgery

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