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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 May;123(5):1098-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.02.018. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

Evolution of patients with nonallergic rhinitis supports conversion to allergic rhinitis.

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Allergy Service, Carlos Haya Hospital, Málaga, Spain.



Nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) affects a significant number of patients in clinical practice. However, the different entities involved within NAR require further study. Once allergy has been ruled out, most of these patients are not usually followed up in allergy clinics, despite the persistence of rhinitis symptoms. Thus few data are available concerning the natural evolution of these patients.


We sought to re-evaluate over time the severity, accompanying disorders, and possible allergen sensitizations in subjects with NAR.


A representative sample of 180 patients given diagnoses of NAR during 2000-2004 was re-evaluated in 2007 by using sociodemographic and clinical questionnaires, spirometry, skin prick testing, and measurement of specific IgE to common aeroallergens.


Patients with NAR generally experienced worsening disease (52%), with an increase in the persistence (12%) and severity of nasal symptoms (9%) and new comorbidities (24%) over time. The most frequent comorbidities at the re-evaluation were asthma (increasing from 32% to 55%) and conjunctivitis (from 28% to 43%), followed by chronic rhinosinusitis. Sensitization to aeroallergens not present at the initial evolution was detected by means of skin prick testing, serum specific IgE measurement, or both in 24% of the patients.


Persistent moderate-to-severe rhinitis associated with asthma, conjunctivitis, or both and sensitization to aeroallergens are likely to appear at a later date in adults initially given diagnoses of NAR. A periodic re-evaluation of these patients might therefore be necessary.

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