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Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013 Mar;5(2):75-80. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.2.75. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Seasonal Specificity of Seasonal Allergens and Validation of the ARIA Classification in Korea.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In Korea, tree pollens are known to be prevalent in spring, grass pollens in summer and weed pollens in autumn. However, few studies have revealed their seasonal specificity for allergic rhinitis symptoms. An ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) classification of allergic rhinitis was recently introduced and its clinical validation has not been well proved. The aim of this study was to evaluate the seasonal specificity of seasonal allergens and to validate the ARIA classification with the conventional seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis (SAR/PAR) classification.

METHODS:

Two hundred twenty six patients with allergic rhinitis were included in this study. The patients were classified according to the sensitized allergens and the ARIA classifications. A questionnaire survey was performed and the data on the seasonal symptom score, the severity of symptoms and the SNOT (sinonasal outcome test)-20 score was obtained and the data was analyzed and compared between the conventional SAR/PAR classification and the ARIA classification.

RESULTS:

Seasonal pollens (tree, grass, weed) were not specific to the pollen peak season and the patients' symptoms were severe during spring and autumn regardless of the offending pollens. More than 60% of the patients with SAR showed persistent symptoms and 33% of the patients with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) had intermittent symptoms, showing the lack of association between the SAR/PAR/PAR+SAR classification and the ARIA classification. The ARIA classification showed better association not only with the symptomatic score, but also with the SNOT-20 score, which showed better validity than the conventional SAR/PAR classifications.

CONCLUSIONS:

Seasonal pollens were not specific to their season of prevalence in terms of the severity of symptoms, and the ARIA classification showed better representation of allergic symptoms and quality of life (SNOT-20 score) than did the SAR/PAR classification.

KEYWORDS:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis; allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma; perennial allergic rhinitis

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