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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Jan;103(1 Pt 1):47-53.

The effect of short-term immunotherapy with molecular standardized grass and rye allergens on eosinophil cationic protein and tryptase in nasal secretions.

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HNO-Klinik der Johannes Gutenberg Universit├Ąt Mainz, Germany.



Activation of mast cells and eosinophils under pollen exposure can be inhibited by specific immunotherapy.


The effect of short-term immunotherapy with 7 preseasonal injections of molecular standardized allergens from grass and rye pollen on eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and tryptase levels in nasal secretions has been compared with symptomatic drug treatment in an open, randomized study with 48 patients.


Nasal reactivity and mediator levels in nasal secretions were measured at baseline, before season, in season, and after season.


Symptom scores in the immunotherapy group were 134.5 (95% CI, 65 to 336) versus 386. 0 (95% CI, 185 to 563), significantly lower as in the drug-treated group. ECP and tryptase levels increased significantly during natural allergen exposition. The seasonal levels in the immunotherapy group were significantly lower than in the drug-treated group with 272.1 ng/mL (252.0 to 293.9 ng/mL; immunotherapy) versus 470.4 ng/mL (SEM, 435.6 to 508.0 ng/mL; drugs) for ECP and with 8.73 ng/mL (SEM, 8.20 to 9.29 ng/mL) versus 17.47 ng/mL (16.42 to 18.60 ng/mL) for tryptase (all, P <.001). The ECP level induced by nasal provocation was 105.6 ng/mL (99.0 to 112.6 ng/mL) versus 180.4 ng/mL (169.2 to 192.4 ng/mL), significantly lower (P <.001) in the immunotherapy group, as was the tryptase level with 12.12 ng/mL (11.53 to 12.75 ng/mL) versus 8.19 ng/mL (7. 79 to 8.62 ng/mL; P <.001) at the after-season visit.


Short-term immunotherapy is able to reduce tryptase and ECP in nasal secretions more effectively than drug treatment in patients with allergic rhinitis.

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