How different are persistent allergic rhinitis and intermittent allergic rhinitis? As it turns out, not much and quite a lot. Liu et al (Allergy 2010, doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02340.x) have characterized the nasal mucosa of Chinese subjects with moderate/severe persistent (PER) or intermittent (IAR) allergic rhinitis. Nasal tissue from both subjects with IAR and those with PER showed increased eosinophil and mast cell numbers compared with those seen in nonallergic subjects, with exaggerated conditions in PER tissues compared with those seen in IAR tissues. The authors also demonstrated that eosinophil and mast cell activation markers, such as IL-5 and leukotrienes, respectively, were found in much higher concentration in PER and IAR tissues, implying a distinct Th2 inflammatory profile.
Corresponding author Shixi Liu, PhD, MD, had this to add: “This is the first study to describe the inflammatory cell and mediator signatures in patients with PER versus IAR, using the new ARIA classification. The study shows that PER and IAR can not only be distinguished clinically but also are different in terms of the degree of eosinophilic inflammation and mast cell response to anti-IgE. These observations support the concept of classification.
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