Allergy/Immunotherapy

Comparison of clinical differences between patients with allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis

September 18, 2013     Mustafa Akarcay, MD; Murat C. Miman, MD; Tamer Erdem, MD; Semih Oncel, MD; Orhan Ozturan, MD; Erol Selimoglu, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a retrospective study to investigate the clinical differences between subtypes of rhinitis patients. Our findings were based on a detailed history and nasal examination. The study population was made up of 910 patients who had at least two rhinitis symptoms. These patients were categorized into one of three rhinitis groups: nonallergic rhinitis (NAR), seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), and perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR); there were 212 patients (23.3%) in the NAR group, 473 (52.0%) in the SAR group, and 225 (24.7%) in the PAR group. In addition to demographic data, we compiled information on the season when each patient presented, specific symptoms and their triggers, parental history, associated allergic diseases (e.g., skin, lung, and eye allergies), and nasal examination findings. The SAR patients represented the youngest of the three groups. Most SAR patients presented in spring and summer, and this group had the highest incidence of eye itchiness, pharyngeal itchiness, eye redness, and palatal itchiness. In terms of triggering factors, a visit to a green area was significantly more common in the SAR patients, while detergent odor, sudden temperature change, and cold air were significantly more common in the NAR patients. On nasal examination, a pale nasal mucosa was significantly more common in the NAR group. In clinical practice, it is crucial to differentiate between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis. We conclude that relevant information from the history can predict allergic rhinitis. Future studies of prevalence should take into consideration the important findings of our study, including the significance of age and the seasonality of exacerbation of rhinitis symptoms.

How closely related are allergic rhinitis, asthma, and chronic sinusitis?

September 18, 2013     Mahmoud Ghaderi, DO, FAOCO
article

Various triggers may have different presentations and thus create a clinically known diverse group of diseases that we have classically grouped as chronic rhinosinusitis.

The impact of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment on the prevalence of allergic rhinitis

August 21, 2013     Carren Teh Sui Lin, MBBS, MS(ORL-HNS); Gopala Krishnan, MBBS, FRSC(Ed); and Anura Michelle Manuel, MBBS, MS(ORL-HNS)
article

Abstract

Atopy is a syndrome characterized by immediate hypersensitivity reactions to common environmental antigens. The “hygiene hypothesis” stipulates that childhood infections are associated with a lower risk of allergies. Not much has been published about the effects that the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has on allergies, specifically allergic rhinitis. We conducted a study to investigate the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in patients with pulmonary TB before and after treatment of their TB. Our initial study group was made up of 121 patients with confirmed pulmonary TB who were followed up by questionnaire. In addition to demographic data, they provided information about their personal and family history of atopy and their current status with regard to allergic rhinitis. After providing informed consent, all patients underwent skin-prick testing with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and Blomia tropicalis allergens before and after TB treatment. Stool samples were obtained to identify patients with worm infestation, and they were excluded from the study. In all, 94 patients completed treatment and follow-up, and their data were included in the final analysis. Of this group, 31 patients (33.0%) exhibited symptoms of allergic rhinitis prior to TB treatment, and 26 (27.7%) had a positive skin-prick test. Following treatment, only 12 patients (12.8%) reported allergic rhinitis symptoms (p = 0.004), but there was no significant reduction in the number of patients with a positive skin-prick test (n = 20 [21.3%]; p = 0.555). We conclude that the treatment of pulmonary TB results in significant relief of atopy, particularly allergic rhinitis symptoms.

Serum levels of advanced oxidation protein products in response to allergen exposure in allergic rhinitis

August 10, 2012     Fadlullah Aksoy, MD; Yavuz Selim Yıldırım, MD; Bayram Veyseller, MD; Hasan Demirhan, MD; Orhan Özturan, MD
article

Abstract

Patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis experience increased oxidative stress. We conducted a prospective study to examine the levels of advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) as an indicator of oxidative stress in 97 patients with allergic rhinitis who were followed in our clinic during a 3.5-month period. Of these 97 patients, 51 were treated with subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), and 46 did not receive any treatment until the study was concluded. In each patient, allergic rhinitis and allergic sensitization were documented by the history, the findings on clinical examination, and the results of blood and skin-prick tests. Blood samples from each patient were analyzed to determine AOPP levels. We found that the mean serum AOPP level was significantly higher in the SCIT group than in the non-SCIT group (258.55 vs. 163.83 µmol/L; p = 0.0015). We conclude that as a known indicator of protein oxidation, the serum AOPP level is a marker of increased oxidative stress in response to allergen exposure in allergic rhinitis.

Nasal eosinophilia as a marker for allergic rhinitis: A controlled study of 50 patients

March 1, 2012     Akefeh Ahmadiafshar, MD, Daryoosh Taghiloo, MD, Abdolreza Esmailzadeh, PhD, and Behnaz Falakaflaki, MD
article

Abstract

Eosinophils are the principal effector cells involved in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. We conducted a study to investigate the validity of the nasal smear examination for detecting eosinophilia in patients with allergic rhinitis. Our study group was made up of 50 patients with allergic rhinitis and 50 age- and sex-matched controls without allergic rhinitis. Smears were obtained from nasal secretions in both groups and then fixed, stained, and studied under light microscopy. Statistical analysis revealed that the odds ratio for eosinophilia positivity in nasal smears in the rhinitis group was 25.61 with a 95% confidence interval of 8 to 78. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of this test were 74, 90, 88, and 77%, respectively. We conclude that the nasal eosinophilia test is highly specific and moderately sensitive in diagnosing allergic rhinitis, and that it therefore can be used as an easy, noninvasive, and inexpensive procedure for screening patients and for conducting epidemiologic studies of this disorder.

Additional information: This study was part of Dr. Taghiloo's graduate thesis, and it was supported by the Research Council of the Zanjan University of Medical Sciences.

Clinical improvement after escalation for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)

September 20, 2011     Jamie Woody, PA-C, MSPAS, Sarah K. Wise, MD, Sarah Koepp, PA-C, MSPAS, and Rodney J. Schlosser, MD
article

Abstract

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) permits rapid antigen escalation with an improved safety profile over that of subcutaneous immunotherapy. Outcomes for SLIT in terms of the timing of clinical improvement were investigated in a retrospective review of patients undergoing SLIT who completed quality of life (QOL) and medication-use questionnaires at baseline and immediately after antigen escalation was performed. A subset of patients (n = 24) also completed maintenance-phase questionnaires. Paired post-escalation data (mean 5.5 weeks; N = 38) demonstrated improvement (p< 0.05) in overall QOL scores and in 6 of 14 symptom domains. Maintenance phase data (n = 24) revealed significant improvements in total QOL scores and in 5 symptom domains. A significant reduction in nasal steroid use was also demonstrated during the maintenance phase of treatment (p < 0.05). Significant improvement is seen immediately post-escalation in SLIT patients. This improved QOL appears to be maintained, and perhaps even increases, during the maintenance phase, with decreased nasal steroid use.

The role of antifungal therapy in the prevention of recurrent allergic fungal rhinosinusitis after functional endoscopic sinus surgery: A randomized, controlled study

August 15, 2011     Yaser Khalil, MD, Adel Tharwat, MD, Asmaa Gaber Abdou, MD, Enas Essa, MD, Abdel Hamid Elsawy, MD, Osama Elnakib, MD, and Nada Farag Elnaidany, PhD
article

Abstract

Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) is the most common form of fungal sinus disease. Its recurrence rate is high despite numerous strategies to prevent it. We conducted a study to assess the effect of systemic and topical antifungal agents-both separately and in combination-in preventing recurrence of AFRS following functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Our initial study population was made up of 50 adults who were diagnosed with AFRS by clinical, radiologic, histopathologic, and laboratory workup and who subsequently underwent FESS. Postoperatively, these patients were randomized into 5 different treatment groups matched for sex, age, and socioeconomic status. Four of the groups received a different antifungal regimen in addition to convenient medical treatment (CMT), while a fifth group served as a control. The antifungal regimens included oral itraconazole (group A), fluconazole nasal spray (group B), combined oral itraconazole and nasal fluconazole (group C), and irrigation with a fluconazole solution through the nasal fossa (group D); the group of 10 controls (group E) received CMT only. A total of 41 patients were available for follow-up (9 mo maximum). Recurrence rates in the 5 groups were 66.7, 10.0, 14.3, 28.6, and 75.0%, respectively. Based on our findings, we conclude that treatment with topical fluconazole as either a nasal spray or an irrigation solution can significantly reduce the rate of recurrence of AFRS after FESS.

The cost-effectiveness of specific allergen immunotherapy

June 13, 2011     John R. Cohn, MD
article

Inadequate health insurance coverage: A major factor in premature discontinuation of subcutaneous immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis

March 31, 2011     Ravi Vaswani, BS, Yi-Chun Carol Liu, MD, Leena Parikh, MD, and Surender Vaswani, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a study of 155 patients with allergic rhinitis who prematurely discontinued subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy to determine the reasons for their discontinuation. The most commonly cited factor, which was cited by 62 patients (40.0%), was the issue of cost-specifically, inadequate or nonexistent insurance coverage. Studies have shown that subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy is more cost-effective than pharmacologic treatment for patients with allergic rhinitis. Therefore, improved insurance coverage for this treatment of proven efficacy would not only improve quality of life, it would also be economically beneficial to the health care system in general.

A comparison of techniques for evaluating IgE-mediated allergies

March 31, 2011     John H. Boyles Jr., MD
article

Abstract

Skin prick testing remains the most popular way to confirm an IgE-mediated allergic response. This study was performed to compare the accuracy and sensitivity of two skin testing modalities (serial endpoint titration and skin prick testing with 2 different in vitro assays.) In 52 atopic patients serial endpoint titration showed a higher degree of sensitivity in evaluating skin response in less sensitive reactors. At higher degrees of reactivity in individual patients there was good correlation between the 3 modalities. Identifying patients who are less sensitive reactors is important, so that they can be started on immunotherapy. In fact, an informal survey of low-reacting patients treated with immunotherapy showed a high degree of success.

Intradermal skin test results correlate with atopy

March 31, 2011     John R. Cohn, MD, FACAAI, Patricia Padams, BSN, RN, and Jeremy Zwillenberg, BA
article

Abstract

Intradermal skin testing (IDST) is performed by most allergists, but its value remains controversial. In most previous studies assessing the value of IDST, a positive result was based on a 5- to 6-mm wheal and erythema. While a subject's immediate reaction upon allergen exposure is a common endpoint to determine “allergy,” additional known allergic phenomena such as the delayed or late-phase response to allergen exposure suggest that correlation only with current history or acute challenge may result in an incorrect labeling of false-positive results when, in fact, there is a physiologic response to exposure, albeit a reaction not immediately evident. We conducted a retrospective study to determine if positive IDST reactions represent nonspecific irritation or if they correlate with atopy. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 100 patients who had undergone skin prick testing (SPT) and IDST and compiled data on their age, sex, diagnosis, and number of skin and intradermal reactions. Results were analyzed according to a general linear model to see if the development of a positive IDST result correlated with atopy (defined as SPT positivity). We found statistically significant differences between SPT-positive and -negative patients with regard to diagnoses of asthma, rhinitis, or both (p = 0.008). Controlling for asthma and rhinitis, we also found a significant association between atopy and a positive IDST result; among atopic (SPT+) patients, a mean of 25.9% of IDST results were positive, compared with a rate of only 6.7% IDST positivity among the nonatopic (SPT-) patients (p < 0.0001). We conclude that IDST is more commonly positive in atopic (SPT+) than nonatopic (SPT-) patients, suggesting that a positive IDST represents genuine atopy and bona fide sensitization rather than nonspecific irritation.

Allergic fungal sinusitis

March 1, 2011     Lester D.R. Thompson, MD
article
Page
of 3Next