Allergy/Immunotherapy

Endoscopic view of allergic fungal sinusitis

February 1, 2007     Joseph P. Mirante, MD; Dewey A. Christmas, Jr., MD; Eiji Yanagisawa, MD
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Comparison of intranasal hypertonic Dead Sea saline spray and intranasal aqueous triamcinolone spray in seasonal allergic rhinitis

June 30, 2005     Scott Cordray, DO, FAOCO; Jim B. Harjo, DO; Linda Miner, PhD
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Abstract
Intranasal corticosteroids are well known to be efficacious in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Nasal irrigation with saline, including hypertonic saline, has long been recommended for the treatment of sinonasal disease, and it has been shown to have a positive effect on the physiology of the nasal mucosa. Until now, no study of the clinical efficacy of intranasal hypertonic Dead Sea saline as a monotherapy for seasonal allergic rhinitis has been reported. We conducted a prospective, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled comparison of intranasal hypertonic Dead Sea saline spray and intranasal aqueous triamcinolone spray in 15 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Results were based on a 7-day regimen. Based on Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores, clinically and statistically significant (p < 0.0001) improvements were seen in both active-treatment groups; as expected, the corticosteroid spray was the more effective of the two treatments. No significant improvement occurred in the control group. Our preliminary results not only confirm the efficacy of intranasal corticosteroid therapy in moderate-to-severe allergic rhinitis, they also suggest that the Dead Sea saline solution can be an effective alternative in mild-to-moderate allergic rhinitis, particularly with respect to nasal and eye symptoms. The hypertonicity of the Dead Sea solution may have a positive effect on the physiology of the nasal mucosa by improving mucociliary clearance. In addition, the dominant cation in the Dead Sea solution''magnesium''probably exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the nasal mucosa and on the systemic immune response.

Prevalence of penicillin allergy in adults with peritonsillar abscess

April 1, 2005     Rakesh K. Chandra, MD; Collin E. Lee, RPh; Harold Pelzer, MD
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Abstract
We noticed a seemingly high prevalence of penicillin allergy in patients who had been diagnosed with peritonsillar abscess (PTA) at our institution. To formally investigate this observation, we reviewed the emergency room (ER) records of 118 patients who had presented between Jan. 1, 1995, and Dec. 31, 1999, with suspected PTA. A diagnosis of PTA was confirmed by the presence of pus on incision and drainage in 78 of these patients (66.1%). The remaining 40 patients (33.9%) were diagnosed with peritonsillar cellulitis (PTC). Of the 78 patients with confirmed PTA, 13 (16.7%) self-reported an allergy to an antibiotic, including 11 (14.1%) who claimed to be allergic to penicillin. In the 40 patients with PTC, the corresponding figures were only 3 (7.5%) and 1 (2.5%). The difference between the PTA and PTC groups with respect to the prevalence of self-reported penicillin allergy was statistically significant (p < 0.05). We also compared the prevalence of antibiotic allergies in our patients with that of 1,893 consecutively presenting patients whose records had been entered into a pharmacy database at our institution. We found that the overall prevalence of patient-reported penicillin allergy in our PTA group was similar to that of the database population, although penicillin allergy did account for a greater percentage of all antibiotic allergies (84.6%) in our PTA group than in the larger population (62.8%). In our series, patients with PTA were more likely to have reported an allergy to penicillin than were patients without an abscess. Additionally, the prevalence of patient-reported antibiotic allergy is high at our institution. Although self-reported penicillin allergy may not represent a true hypersensitivity reaction, it can influence antibiotic selection and/or compliance. Prospective studies are needed to determine what influence allergic status and antibiotic choice has on abscess development.

Pediatric allergic rhinitis: Factors affecting treatment choice

March 1, 2005     Erwin W. Gelfand, MD
article
Abstract
Allergic rhinitis is the most prevalent chronic allergic disease in children. Although it is not life-threatening, it can have a significantly detrimental effect on a child's quality of life, and it may exacerbate a number of common comorbidities, including asthma and sinusitis. The Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma guidelines, an evidence-based algo-rithm for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, advocate the use of antihistamines for the treatment of the broad spectrum of the disease. However, first-generation antihistamines are associated with a number of adverse events, including central nervous system impairment and anticholinergic and cardiovascular effects. Moreover, these agents have not been rigorously tested in the pediatric population. Nevertheless, first-generation antihistamines remain the most frequently prescribed agents in this class of drugs. This is despite the fact that the second-generation antihistamines are largely free of the undesirable side effects associated with their predecessors and the fact that they have been shown to be effective in relieving allergic rhinitis symptoms in children in a number of large-scale clinical trials. Therefore, when selecting an antihistamine for a child, it would be prudent to consider the full range of antihistamines and to base the selection of a particular drug on its efficacy, onset and duration of action, and safety profile.

Fluconazole nasal spray in the treatment of allergic fungal sinusitis: A pilot study

September 30, 2004     Albert Jen, MD; Ashutosh Kacker, MD; Clark Huang, MD; Vijay Anand, MD
article
Abstract
The authors describe a prospective pilot study designed to investigate the use of topical nasal antifungal spray in addition to systemic steroids and itraconazole in the treatment of allergic fungal sinusitis. Sixteen patients with a history of allergic fungal sinusitis were given fluconazole nasal spray and followed for 3 months. Stabilization or improvement of disease without significant side effects was observed in 12 of the 16 patients who were treated with this protocol. These results indicate that topical fluconazole application may help patients with allergic fungal sinusitis; however, a larger multicenter study with longer patient follow-up is required to validate these initial findings.

Charcot-Leyden crystals: Pathology and diagnostic utility

June 30, 2004     Liron Pantanowitz, MD; Karoly Balogh, MD
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