Exhaled and nasal NO levels in allergic rhinitis: relation to sensitization, pollen season and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.
Exhaled nitric oxide is a potential marker of lower airway inflammation. Allergic rhinitis is associated with asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. To determine whether or not nasal and exhaled NO concentrations are increased in allergic rhinitis and to assess the relation between hyperresponsiveness and exhaled NO, 46 rhinitic and 12 control subjects, all nonasthmatic nonsmokers without upper respiratory tract infection, were randomly selected from a large-scale epidemiological survey in Central Norway. All were investigated with flow-volume spirometry, methacholine provocation test, allergy testing and measurement of nasal and exhaled NO concentration in the nonpollen season. Eighteen rhinitic subjects completed an identical follow-up investigation during the following pollen season. Exhaled NO was significantly elevated in allergic rhinitis in the nonpollen season, especially in perennially sensitized subjects, as compared with controls (p=0.01), and increased further in the pollen season (p=0.04), mainly due to a two-fold increase in those with seasonal sensitization. Nasal NO was not significantly different from controls in the nonpollen season and did not increase significantly in the pollen season. Exhaled NO was increased in hyperresponsive subjects, and decreased significantly after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction, suggesting that NO production occurs in the peripheral airways. In allergic rhinitis, an increase in exhaled nitric oxide on allergen exposure, particularly in hyperresponsive subjects, may be suggestive of airway inflammation and an increased risk for developing asthma. (+info)
We investigated whether hyperosmolar saline (HS), applied via paper disk onto the septum of one nostril, induces a nasal secretory response. Furthermore, we examined whether this response is accentuated in patients with active allergic rhinitis (AR) compared with healthy volunteers. Unilateral HS produced significant nasal secretions both ipsilateral and contralateral to the site of challenge in the AR group and only ipsilaterally in the healthy group. The HS-induced nasal secretions were significantly greater in the AR vs. the healthy subjects. In a separate study, we ascertained that the nasal response to HS is neurally mediated and found that ipsilateral nerve blockade with lidocaine significantly attenuates the HS-induced secretions bilaterally. In another group of AR subjects, we determined whether nociceptive fibers were involved in this response and found that sensory nerve desensitization with repeated application of capsaicin attenuated the HS-induced nasal secretions. Finally, we determined whether the secretory hyperresponsiveness in AR is attributable to increased reactivity of submucosal glands rather than of nerves. We found that the dose response to methacholine, which directly stimulates the glands, was identical among AR and healthy subjects. We conclude that, in AR, nasal challenge with HS induces significantly greater reflex secretions involving capsaicin-sensitive nerve fibers, consistent with the notion of neural hyperresponsiveness in this disease. (+info)
Alpha2-macroglobulin and eosinophil cationic protein in the allergic airway mucosa in seasonal allergic rhinitis.
As previously demonstrated in seasonal allergic rhinitis, increased microvascular permeability and eosinophil activation are key features of allergic airway inflammation. In the present study, the hypothesis that exudation of alpha2-macroglobulin may cause the appearance of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in the airway lumen was explored. Nasal lavages were carried out using the nasal pool device before and during the pollen season both at baseline and after histamine challenge in 10 children with allergic rhinitis. Nasal lavage fluid levels of alpha2-macroglobulin and ECP were determined. All patients experienced nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis during the pollen season (p<0.01-0.05). Baseline nasal lavage fluid levels of alpha2-macroglobulin and ECP were increased during the season (p<0.01-0.05) and were found to be well correlated (p<0.0001). Histamine produced concentration-dependent plasma exudation before and during the pollen season, but it was only during the pollen season that this caused an increase in the lavage fluid levels of ECP (p<0.05). These data suggest that exudation of plasma and increased tissue levels and output of eosinophil cationic protein characterize nasal mucosal inflammation in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis. The plasma exudation process in part may account for lumenal entry of eosinophil cationic protein molecules that have been released in mucosal tissue compartments. A combination of induced exudation and nasal lavage may improve the yield of important markers of inflammation in studies of nasal diseases. (+info)
New treatments for allergic rhinitis.
OBJECTIVE: To review new treatments for allergic rhinitis. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: Most studies supporting the principles in this paper are double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Good evidence supports use of antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and immunotherapy. Fewer trials have been done on the new antileukotrienes. MAIN MESSAGE: Allergic rhinitis causes significant morbidity, which can be successfully treated. Newer antihistamines, developed to replace terfenadine and astemizole which have potential side effects, include loratadine, cetirizine, and the newest, fexofenadine. Intranasal steroid sprays are also effective, particularly for people with nasal stuffiness. One study showed some growth retardation in children using beclomethasone over a prolonged period (1 year). The newer steroid sprays, such as fluticasone, budesonide, and mometasone furoate aqueous, however, have not been studied in the same way and are usually recommended for shorter periods. The newest group of medications showing real promise are the antileukotrienes, including zafirlukast and montelukast. Taken orally, these medications avoid the discomfort of nasal sprays and seem to have few side effects. Immunotherapy offers a new option: a short-course, preseasonal series of six to 11 injections that reduces the burden on patients for year-round therapy. Combinations of these therapies are also possible. CONCLUSIONS: With new medications and immunotherapy options, family physicians can offer effective treatment to patients with allergic rhinitis. (+info)
Differences in nasal cellular infiltrates between allergic children and age-matched controls.
Little is known about the cellular infiltrates in the nasal mucosa of children. This study was set up to compare the nasal cellular infiltrates in biopsy specimens from allergic children and controls. Atopic children were distinguished from controls on the basis of symptoms of allergic rhinitis and/or asthma, total serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E, family history and specific serum IgE to food and aeroallergens. Fifteen allergic patients (median age 4.3 yrs) and 15 age-matched nonallergic control subjects were evaluated. The number of cells positive for CD1a, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD68, chymase, tryptase, IgE and major basic protein was determined in the mucosa of the inferior turbinate. A significantly higher number of IgE-positive cells and mast cells was found in the epithelia of the allergic group. In the lamina propria, higher numbers of IgE-positive cells and eosinophils were found. Langerhans' cells positive for IgE were only seen in allergic children with specific serum IgE against aeroallergens. These children also had a higher number of IgE-positive mast cells compared to controls and atopic children without specific serum IgE. These results show that the nasal cellular infiltrates of allergic children differ from nonallergic control subjects. Prior to the detection of specific serum immunoglobulin E, cellular changes can be found in the nasal mucosa of atopic children. (+info)
Economic outcomes of a targeted intervention program: the costs of treating allergic rhinitis patients.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the annual costs of treating allergic rhinitis patients in a managed care environment and to assess the effect of a treatment intervention program on direct and indirect costs. DESIGN: Two arms of an economics study were designed to calculate annual costs of treating allergic rhinitis in Lovelace Health Systems. Direct and indirect costs were also reviewed for patients participating in an intervention program designed to improve patient outcomes during the 1996 fall allergy season. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Annual medical costs of treating allergic rhinitis within the Lovelace system were reviewed using a patient database. A total of 7936 patients with allergic rhinitis symptoms were identified in the database using a case-finding algorithm. An equal number of patients without allergy conditions were selected for the comparison group. In addition to calculating annual costs of treating allergic rhinitis, direct and indirect costs were reviewed for patients participating in a rhinitis intervention program to determine differences in cost between the treatment and control groups. An intervention group of 247 patients was selected to receive care at clinics randomized to use practice guidelines to improve treatment, while 255 patients were treated in the control group clinics, which did not alter treatment practices. RESULTS: Annual expenditures were nearly $2 million more for the allergic rhinitis group than for the control group. In the intervention study, treatment and control groups expended the same in direct costs, but the intervention group showed a trend toward decreased indirect costs. CONCLUSION: Costs of allergic rhinitis are not trivial to a managed care organization; a specifically designed intervention program shows potential for minimizing the costs associated with the ailment. (+info)
Diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis: primary care in an integrated health system setting.
The first point of contact for many patients presenting with allergy symptoms is the primary care physician. And in the managed care system, this initial primary care visit is essential. Guidelines for the primary care physician in diagnosing and treatment rhinitis as well as referring patients to allergy specialists are described. In addition, optimal medication usage for treating mild, moderate, and severe rhinitis is detailed. (+info)
Der p 1 facilitates transepithelial allergen delivery by disruption of tight junctions.
House dust mite (HDM) allergens are important factors in the increasing prevalence of asthma. The lung epithelium forms a barrier that allergens must cross before they can cause sensitization. However, the mechanisms involved are unknown. Here we show that the cysteine proteinase allergen Der p 1 from fecal pellets of the HDM Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus causes disruption of intercellular tight junctions (TJs), which are the principal components of the epithelial paracellular permeability barrier. In confluent airway epithelial cells, Der p 1 led to cleavage of the TJ adhesion protein occludin. Cleavage was attenuated by antipain, but not by inhibitors of serine, aspartic, or matrix metalloproteinases. Putative Der p 1 cleavage sites were found in peptides from an extracellular domain of occludin and in the TJ adhesion protein claudin-1. TJ breakdown nonspecifically increased epithelial permeability, allowing Der p 1 to cross the epithelial barrier. Thus, transepithelial movement of Der p 1 to dendritic antigen-presenting cells via the paracellular pathway may be promoted by the allergen's own proteolytic activity. These results suggest that opening of TJs by environmental proteinases may be the initial step in the development of asthma to a variety of allergens. (+info)