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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Jul;100(1):23-9.

Short-term immunotherapy: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study of molecular standardized grass and rye allergens in patients with grass pollen-induced allergic rhinitis.

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Universitats-HNO-Klinik Tübingen, Germany.



Short-term immunotherapy (STI) can be beneficial for patients who are noncompliant with long-term specific immunotherapy.


The efficacy and tolerance of STI with seven preseasonal injections of molecular standardized allergens from grass and rye pollen has been investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study with 87 patients at 12 German University hospitals.


Symptoms of the eyes, nose, and bronchi and use of symptomatic drugs were documented daily in diaries by patients with allergic rhinitis to grass and/or rye pollen and without bronchial asthma. Patients were monitored by skin prick test titration and measurement of levels of specific IgE and IgG4.


The median nasal score for the 10 weeks with the strongest symptoms during the grass pollen season was significantly lower (p = 0.014) with 35.0 for STI (n = 41) versus 69.0 for placebo (n = 40); the overall symptom score was 54.0 for STI versus 97.5 for placebo (p = 0.020). Only STI-treated patients exposed to less than 40 pollen grains per cubic meter per week showed a significantly lower nasal symptom score of 39.0 versus 75.0 for placebo (p = 0.006); these patients also had fewer nasal symptoms and less use of topical nasal drugs (p < 0.001). The threshold dose in skin prick tests was significantly higher, being 9.06 histamine equivalent for skin prick test (HEP) for STI-treated patients who received the maximum dose (n = 22) versus 4.33 HEP for placebo (p = 0.005). Specific IgE levels were significantly higher, being 55.9 SU/ml for STI versus 39.2 SU/ml for placebo after seven injections (p = 0.006) and level of specific IgG4 was 5.36% for STI versus 1.28% for placebo (p < 0.001). No severe systemic reactions were observed.


STI with seven preseasonal injections with molecular standardized allergens is effective and well tolerated.

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