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Allergy. 2002 Sep;57(9):785-90.

Benefits of immunotherapy with a standardized Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus extract in asthmatic children: a three-year prospective study.

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Departments of Pediatrics, University of Pisa, Italy.



Although widely practiced for over 80 years, the role of specific immunotherapy (SIT) in pediatric asthma treatment is still controversial. We assessed the effects of a 3-year period of subcutaneous administration of a standardized preparation of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D pt) on the respiratory health in a group of asthmatic children monosensitized to house dust mite (HDM).


A randomized clinical trial was performed after 1-year run-in period. Fifteen children receiving SIT for HDM and 14 controls (four drop-outs), matched for age, allergen sensitization, asthma severity, lung function, and non-specific bronchial reactivity (BHR), were studied during the 3-year treatment period. During the whole trial, respiratory symptoms, pharmacological and respiratory function parameters were regularly evaluated. Skin prick tests and methacholine challenge were performed at the beginning and end of the study.


In the SIT group significant improvement in asthmatic symptoms and marked reduction in drug intake was observed. The SIT group also showed a significant decrease in non-specific bronchial BHR. No new sensitivity occurred during the study period in the SIT group only. No major local or systemic side-effects were reported during the study.


Our results confirm that SIT is effective in asthmatic children sensitive to mites. It is associated with a decrease in BHR and it may prevent the development of new sensitizations in monosensitized subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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