Occupational rhinoconjunctivitis caused by the common indoor plant, Hoya compacta.

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Abstract

Background

Allergic reactions to the common house plant Hoya compacta (HC) have not previously been described.

Aims

To confirm HC as the cause of rhinoconjunctivitis in three horticultural workers.

Methods

Greenhouse working conditions were reproduced in our challenge chamber.

Results

All three cases developed rhinoconjunctivitis when working with HC plants. A control challenge was performed in two cases with iceberg lettuce causing no symptoms. Nasal volume measured by acoustic rhinometry (AR) fell after all three active challenges, but also after one of the control challenges.

Conclusions

Our study confirms that HC may cause occupational rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma through a Type I hypersensitivity reaction. Specific inhalation challenges, nasal nitric oxide measurement and AR may be useful additional tools in supporting such diagnoses for occupational physicians to consider.

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