Bronchial inflammation in seasonal allergic rhinitis with or without asthma in relation to natural exposure to pollen allergens
P. Panzner, I. Malkusová, M. Vachová, M. LiÅ¡ka, P. Brodská, O. RÅ¯Å¾iÄková and M. MalÃ½
Nasal inflammation in allergic rhinitis enhances bronchial Th2 driven inflammation and development of asthma. We assessed bronchial inflammation induced by natural allergen exposure during pollen season in patients with pollinosis with or without asthma to show the intensity of inflammation in asthma and rhinitis and possible persistence of inflammation in periods without allergen exposure.
Sputum was induced in 52 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis without asthma, 38 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis and seasonal asthma and 23 healthy volunteers. Sampling was performed 6»8 weeks before the expected beginning of symptoms, during symptomatic period and 6»8 weeks after the end of symptoms. Sputum ECP was measured by means of chemiluminiscent immunometric assay and sputum cell counts were assessed by classical staining and immunocytochemistry.
Sputum eosinophils were on the whole higher in both asthma and rhinitis compared to controls (p < 0.001, p = 0.003). The rise of eosinophils during pollen season compared with values out of pollen season was significant in asthma (classical staining) (p = 0.014) and slightly apparent in rhinitis (immunocytochemistry) (p = 0.073). The seasonal rise of sputum ECP was observed only in rhinitis (p = 0.006).
Inflammation of the lower airway in patients with allergic rhinitis with and without asthma has been confirmed by means of both sputum eosinophil count and sputum ECP level. Persistent inflammation of lower airway in periods without allergen exposure was proven in seasonal asthma. This may have implications for the therapy of seasonal allergic rhinitis with and without asthma in terms of promoting long-term anti-inflammatory treatment.