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Acta Otolaryngol. 2004 Jun;124(5):616-20.

A role for neutrophils in intermittent allergic rhinitis.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.



In patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis, allergen challenge may induce both early- and late-phase responses. The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between inflammatory cells in the nasal lavage fluid and clinical parameters following pollen challenge.


Nasal lavage fluids were obtained from 29 patients with intermittent allergic rhinitis before and 1 and 6 h after allergen provocation, representing the control, early and late phases, respectively. Symptom and rhinoscopic scores were registered on the same occasions. Inflammatory cells were determined in the nasal fluid.


The early phase was characterized by increased symptom scores, rhinoscopic signs of oedema and secretion and neutrophilia. In the late phase, symptom scores had diminished, but the signs of ongoing secretion remained. Both the total nasal symptom score and the secretion score correlated with the number of neutrophils in lavage fluids at 1 h. The eosinophil count did not increase during the early or late phases.


A single allergen provocation induces an early-phase response dominated by neutrophils, with secretion being the only clinical sign remaining during the late phase. The increase in neutrophil numbers correlated with the registration of secretory symptoms. The presented data indicate a role for neutrophils in intermittent allergic rhinitis and their relation with secretory parameters makes it intriguing to speculate that neutrophils may function as promoters of nasal secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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