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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2005 Mar;136(3):266-72. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

Nasal eosinophils display the best correlation with symptoms, pulmonary function and inflammation in allergic rhinitis.

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  • 1Head-Neck Department, S. Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis and its link with asthma are well known. Nevertheless, a complete cross-sectional evaluation of the usually available clinical, functional and immunological parameters has never been made. We assessed nasal symptoms and flow, cytology, cytokines, pulmonary function and methacholine positivity in a large number of patients with pure pollinosis.

METHODS:

Young men presenting at a military hospital for routine follow-up were recruited for the study. They had to suffer from rhinitis alone (without asthma) for at least 2 years and had to have a positive skin prick test to pollens only. During the pollen season, they underwent symptom evaluation, measurement of nasal flow, nasal scraping and lavage (cell count and assay for IL-4, IL-5, IL-8 and IFNgamma), pulmonary function tests and methacholine challenge.

RESULTS:

Fifty subjects (23.7+/-4.9 years old) were enrolled. All patients had high clinical scores (9.5+/-1.6) and inflammatory cells (eosinophils: 10.5+/-4 and neutrophils 21.3+/-6) and low nasal flow (482+/-111 ml/s). We found that the number of eosinophils in nasal scrapings highly correlated with all the above-mentioned parameters, including nasal flow, cytokines and spirometric values. A significant positive correlation was found between all inflammatory cells and all cytokines. IL-8, IL-4 and neutrophils displayed only a partial correlation with pulmonary parameters (FEV1, FVC and FEF25-75%), at variance wit IL-5 and eosinophils. Methacholine test positivity significantly correlated with the number of eosinophils in the nasal smear.

CONCLUSION:

Eosinophils in the nasal smear display the best correlation with all the clinical and immunological parameters in allergic rhinitis and also correlate well with methacholine response.

PMID:
15722636
DOI:
10.1159/000083953
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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