Efficacy of pollen immunotherapy in seasonal allergic rhinitis

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Abstract

Background

The efficacy of subcutaneous pollen immunotherapy has been documented in published double-blind, placebo-controlled studies related to treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. In the present study, subjective (symptom scores) and objective (nasal peak inspiratory flow, nasal smear, nasal biopsy) parameters were used to study the efficacy of pollen immunotherapy.

Methods

Forty-eight patients (32 male), mean ± SE age 13.6 ± 2.8 years allergic to grass-pollen participated in the present study. Patients were divided into three groups: group I, 24 patients who did not receive pollen immunotherapy; group II, 12 patients who received the build-up phase of pollen immunotherapy; and group III, 12 patients who had just finished pollen immunotherapy. With regard to objective and subjective parameters these three groups were compared.

Results

When group I was compared to groups II and III, the patients who had not received any immunotherapy were found to have a high daytime nasal symptoms score (P < 0.01), high daytime eye symptoms score(P < 0.01) and high night-time symptoms score (P < 0.01). In objective parameters, it was found that group I had low nasal peak inspiratory flow (P < 0.05), and a high eosinophil count in nasal smears (P < 0.05) and peripheral blood (P < 0.05). It was also demonstrated that there was an increased eosinophil infiltration (P < 0.01) and mast cell infiltration (P < 0.05) in nasal biopsy in group I. There was no significant difference between group II and group III according to these results (P > 0.05).

Conclusions

Immunotherapy leads to a better clinical and histopathological prognosis in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis.

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