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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2003 Sep;132(1):68-75.

Eosinophil count in nasal mucosa is more suitable than the number of ICAM-1-positive nasal epithelial cells to evaluate the severity of house dust mite-sensitive allergic rhinitis: a clinical correlation study.

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  • 1Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.



House dust mite (HDM)-sensitive allergic rhinitis is a perennial rhinitis with persistent nasal inflammation. Currently, there are no reliable parameters to monitor the severity of perennial allergic rhinitis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate correlations between clinical and laboratory parameters in patients with HDM-sensitive allergic rhinitis.


We measured nasal symptoms, did the Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der P) skin prick test (SPT), evaluated the Der P allergen nasal challenge threshold, and laboratory parameters [(1) inflammatory cell count from nasal mucosal scraping specimens: eosinophils and neutrophils and (2) immunocytochemistry: ICAM-1 expression on nasal epithelial cells] in 20 cases of HDM-sensitive allergic rhinitis and performed correlation tests between all parameters.


The wheal diameter induced by Der P SPT was significantly correlated with the Der P allergen nasal challenge threshold (p = 0.001). The number of eosinophils from nasal mucosal scrapping specimens was correlated with the ICAM-1 expression on nasal epithelial cells (p = 0.039), the number of neutrophils from nasal mucosal scrapping specimens (p = 0.001), and nasal stuffiness (p = 0.037) but did not correlate with total nasal symptom scores.


Clinical symptoms of HDM-sensitive allergic rhinitis showed a poor correlation with inflammatory parameters. The eosinophil count in nasal mucosa is correlated with ICAM-1 expression and more suitable than ICAM-1 levels to evaluate the severity of HDM-sensitive allergic rhinitis. This study also supports the role of the SPT in the diagnosis of nasal allergy to HDM.

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