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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Mar;115(3):541-7.

Rhinophototherapy: a new therapeutic tool for the management of allergic rhinitis.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University of Szeged, Hungary.



Phototherapy has a profound immunosuppressive effect and is able to inhibit hypersensibility reactions in the skin.


We evaluated whether phototherapy using a combination of UV-B (5%), UV-A (25%), and visible light (70%), referred to as mUV/VIS, is effective in treating allergic rhinitis.


We conducted a randomized, double-blind study, in 49 patients with hay fever. The study was performed during the ragweed season. Each intranasal cavity was illuminated 3 times a week for 3 weeks with mUV/VIS or with low-intensity visible light. Symptom scores, inflammatory cells, and their mediators were assessed in nasal lavages. In vitro effects of mUV/VIS irradiation on T-cell and eosinophil apoptosis and its inhibitory effect on mediator release from basophils were examined.


Rhinophototherapy was tolerated well and resulted in a significant improvement of clinical symptoms for sneezing (P < .016), rhinorrhea (P < .007), nasal itching (P < .014), and total nasal score (P < .004). None of the scores improved significantly in the control group. Scores for nasal obstruction slightly improved after mUV/VIS treatment and significantly increased in the control group (P < .017). In the nasal lavage, phototherapy significantly reduced the number of eosinophils and the level of eosinophil cationic protein and IL-5. In vitro irradiation of T cells and eosinophils with mUV/VIS light dose-dependently induced apoptosis. Furthermore, mUV/VIS irradiation inhibited the mediator release from RBL-2H3 basophils.


These results suggest that phototherapy is an effective modality to treat allergic rhinitis and offer new options for the treatment of immune-mediated mucosal diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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