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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Oct;94(4):708-15.

Nasal cytology in patients with allergic rhinitis: effects of intranasal fluticasone propionate.

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Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center, San Diego, CA 92123.



Nasal cytograms of patients with allergic rhinitis contain increased numbers of eosinophils and basophilic cells. Neutrophils are also more numerous in cytograms of allergic persons. Topical intranasal corticosteroid therapy for allergic rhinitis has been shown to decrease the numbers of some inflammatory cell types. Fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray, a potent synthetic corticosteroid preparation, is effective therapy for seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis.


Nasal mucosal scrapings were obtained with a Rhinoprobe (Apotex Scientific, Inc. Arlington, Texas) before and after therapy with fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray at several doses in patients with either seasonal allergic rhinitis (2 to 4 weeks' therapy) or perennial allergic rhinitis (24 weeks' therapy). More than 1000 paired nasal cytograms obtained from patients participating in five multicenter studies were evaluated.


The percentage of patients with nasal eosinophils (p < 0.01, most studies) and basophilic cells (p < 0.05, most studies) decreased significantly after treatment with fluticasone propionate compared with placebo-treated patients. Similar findings were observed with beclomethasone dipropionate in one study. The number of neutrophils remained relatively unchanged after treatment with the intranasal corticosteroids or placebo.


These findings suggest that the therapeutic benefits of topical intranasal fluticasone propionate and beclomethasone dipropionate for the therapy of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis are reflected by the decrease in inflammatory cells in the nasal mucosa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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