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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jan;107(1):87-93.

Grass pollen immunotherapy for seasonal rhinitis and asthma: a randomized, controlled trial.

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1
Upper Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Grass pollen immunotherapy significantly reduces hay fever symptoms and medication requirements. Effects on seasonal asthma are less clear, and concerns over safety persist.

OBJECTIVE:

The goal of this study was to assess the effects of grass pollen immunotherapy on symptoms, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and quality of life in seasonal rhinitis and asthma.

METHODS:

Forty-four patients with severe summer hay fever (of whom 36 reported seasonal chest symptoms and 28 had seasonal bronchial hyperresponsiveness) participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. After symptom monitoring for one summer, participants received injections of a depot grass pollen vaccine (n = 22) or matched placebo injections (n = 22) in a rapid updosing cluster regimen for 4 weeks, followed by monthly injections for 2 years. Outcome measures included hay fever symptoms and medication use, health-related quality of life, and measurements of nonspecific bronchial responsiveness.

RESULTS:

Significant reductions were observed in the immunotherapy group compared with the placebo group in hay fever symptoms (49%, 15%; P =.01), medication scores (80%, 18%; P =.007), and seasonal chest symptoms (90%, 11%; P <.05). Impairment of overall quality of life (mean score of 7 domains) during the pollen season was less in the immunotherapy group than in the placebo group (median difference [95% CI], 0.8 [0.18-1.5]; P =.02). During the pollen season there was no change in airway methacholine PC(20) (provocation concentration producing a 20% fall in FEV(1)) in the immunotherapy-treated group (P =.5), compared with an almost 3 doubling-dose decrease in the placebo-treated group (P =.01, between-group difference). There were no significant local or systemic side effects during the study.

CONCLUSION:

Grass pollen immunotherapy improves quality of life in seasonal allergic rhinitis and reduces seasonal asthma symptoms and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

PMID:
11149996
DOI:
10.1067/mai.2001.112027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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