The goal of this investigation was to study the effects of sequential dust mite antigen stimulation on the appearance and function of the larynx. To that end, we designed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, prospective analysis of adults who had tested positive for perennial dust mite allergy. The larynx of patients who received the active antigen was challenged directly with a low (1:100) and a high (1:40) concentration of the dust mite allergen via an oral nebulizer. Voice laboratory assessment tools included voice and allergy questionnaires, videostroboscopic examination of the larynx, acoustic and speech aerodynamic analyses, and digital audio voice recordings. The study was prematurely terminated after 2 patients had been treated with the highest concentration of the antigenic suspension because of adverse effects, including chest tightness, coughing, and voice difficulties. Both of these patients had demonstrated viscous endolaryngeal secretions and vocal fold edema on videostroboscopy. No reactions were noted at the lower concentration of antigen exposure or in 1 control patient who completed the study. We believe that our findings, as preliminary as they are, may serve as an initial template for the differential diagnosis and treatment of other patients with inhalant allergies who present with chief complaints suggestive of allergic laryngitis.
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