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Allergy. 1996 Apr;51(4):238-44.

Effects of immunotherapy on symptoms, PEFR, spirometry, and airway responsiveness in patients with allergic asthma to house-dust mites (D. pteronyssinus) on inhaled steroid therapy.

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  • 1Department of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, H.S. João, Porto, Portugal.


The present study was designed to investigate the effects of immunotherapy (IT) with an extract of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Alergo-Merck Depot) during a 27-month period in patients with allergic asthma to house-dust mites. We included 11 patients (mean age 18 years) treated with a combination of IT and inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) in comparison to another 11 (mean age 22 years) treated with BDP alone. We evaluated symptom scores, salbutamol use, peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR), spirometry, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) during 18 months of therapy with BDP and in the 9 months after BDP interruption. The two kinds of treatment were efficient and comparable in relation to symptom score, salbutamol use, morning PEFR, FVC, and FEV1, but patients treated with IT and BDP had a faster improvement of BHR and PEFR variability. The interruption of BDP after 18 months of therapy was linked to an impairment of all end points, which were more pronounced in patients previously treated only with BDP. These findings suggest that in selected asthmatic patients allergic to house-dust mites, the association of IT and BDP is more effective than therapy with this inhaled steroid alone due to a faster and more striking improvement during the first months of treatment and to a lower rate of relapse after the interruption of therapy with BDP.

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