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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996 Sep;98(3):508-13.

The relationships between nasal hyperreactivity, quality of life, and nasal symptoms in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis.

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Department of Allergology, University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, The Netherlands.



A clinical test that could inform the clinician about the severity of a patient's nasal symptoms and health-related quality of life (QOL) would be very useful.


We attempted to determine whether, in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis, nasal challenge with histamine could be used to estimate daily symptoms and QOL.


Forty-eight patients with perennial allergic rhinitis were challenged with histamine to determine nasal hyperreactivity. Nasal response was monitored by the number of sneezes, the amount of secretion, and a symptom score. Daily nasal symptoms were recorded during the 2 preceding weeks. Patients also completed a rhinitis QOL questionnaire.


Responsiveness to histamine and total daily nasal symptoms were moderately correlated (r = 0.51, p = 0.001). Comparison of total daily nasal symptoms with the overall QOL score showed a moderate correlation (r = 0.59, p < 0.001). Nasal response to histamine and overall QOL score were also correlated (r = 0.43, p = 0.002). However, overall QOL and daily nasal symptoms could be predicted by wide 95% confidence intervals only for each decade of nasal responsiveness to histamine (expressed as a composite symptom score).


In patients with perennial allergic rhinitis nasal hyperreactivity as determined by histamine challenge, QOL, and daily nasal symptoms are moderately correlated. Therefore nasal histamine challenge can be used as a tool for estimating the severity of daily nasal symptoms and QOL, although it cannot predict nasal symptoms and QOL very accurately.

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