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Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):e221-4. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3686.

Milk allergy is frequent in patients with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis.

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Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



Chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps with subsequent nasal blocking, anosmia, and relapsing infections are frequent in the rhinological practice. Often, recurrent disease necessitates repetitive conservative therapy and surgical treatment (functional endoscopic sinus surgery). This study was initiated to scrutinize the relationship of wheat and milk allergies to chronic polypoid sinusitis (CPS) and recurrent disease.


Blood samples of 50 healthy controls and 50 patients with clinically and radiologically diagnosed CPS and nasal polyposis were screened for common food allergies including wheat and milk allergy. On inclusion into the study, none of the patients reported a symptomatic food allergy.


Fifteen of 100 tested subjects (15%) revealed a previously undiagnosed allergy to inhalant (dust, rye, and pollens) and other food allergens (corn and egg white). Six of 50 patients (12%) with CPS exhibited a wheat allergy, and a milk allergy could be identified in 7 patients (14%). In the control group, seven healthy subjects (14%) showed a wheat allergy and no case of milk allergy could be identified (p = 0.0125).


In contrast to previous studies in other countries presenting a food allergy incidence of ∼75% in patients with nasal polyposis, we could not show such a high incidence. In the group with chronic polyposis 14% of the patients were positive for milk allergy compared with none of the tested healthy subjects, resulting in a strong statistical significance. Therefore, we conclude that cow's milk but not wheat allergy might be a relevant pathogenetic entity in chronic nasal polyps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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