[Idiopathic rhinitis]

Laryngorhinootologie. 2006 May;85(5):361-77; quiz 378-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-921113.
[Article in German]


Idiopathic Rhinitis (IR) is a term for a group of nasal diseases of unknown aetiology. Formerly, these diseases were called vasomotor rhinitis, but because there is no indication of a disorder in the vasomotor system, this term has been abandoned. Other terms, like non-infectious non-allergic rhinitis and non-allergic non-infectious perennial rhinitis are purely descriptive. Potential pathomechanisms in IR could be 1) neural dysfunction/dysregulation; 2) immunological inflammatory responses; and 3) changes of the permeability of the mucosa, leading to increase entrance of potential harmful substances. Idiopathic Rhinitis is a diagnosis by exclusion, meaning that a number of more or less defined nasal conditions as a cause of rhinitis have been excluded - not only allergic rhinitis. Although a considerable progress was made in the standardization of provocation tests or biomarkers in nasal secretions, there are today no specific test available to confirm the diagnosis rhinitis in many non allergic conditions. An evidence-based review of treatment outcomes shows topical sprays of steroids, antihistamines to be of benefit in idiopathic rhinitis. Furthermore, nasal saline solution is effective in many patients with IR. Multiple surgical procedures have been suggested for IR, but should be reserved for patients who fail medical therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Axons / physiology
  • Biomarkers
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Histamine Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Nasal Mucosa / blood supply
  • Nasal Mucosa / innervation
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Nasal Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Neuropeptides / physiology
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Rhinitis* / classification
  • Rhinitis* / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis* / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis* / immunology
  • Rhinitis* / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis* / surgery
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Biomarkers
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Neuropeptides
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A