Minimal persistent inflammation is also present in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Jan;105(1 Pt 1):54-7. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(00)90177-5.


Background: The allergic reaction is characterized by an inflammatory response, which is correlated to the allergen exposure, and is detectable in mite allergic patients, even when symptoms are absent.

Objective: The study was aimed at assessing the presence of inflammation in patients with pollen allergy during a long observation period.

Methods: Six patients, sensitized only to Betula alba, were enrolled. Evaluated parameters were (1) nasal symptoms, (2) inflammatory markers (ie, neutrophil and eosinophil number and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression on nasal epithelial cells), and (3) pollen count. Patients were examined during the pollen season every 4 days for 40 days and were observed 3 times after the pollen season.

Results: A significant inflammatory reaction was evident throughout the pollen season, even during the days with a low pollen count and low or absent symptoms.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the global therapeutic strategy for allergic rhinitis should be revised and targeted to inflammatory phenomena rather than to symptoms alone.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / pathology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology*


  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1