Changes in bronchial responsiveness following nasal provocation with allergen

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1992 Feb;89(2):611-8. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(92)90329-z.


The relationship between upper airway inflammation and asthma is controversial. In the current study, we sought to investigate the relationship between allergic rhinitis and lower airway dysfunction by performing double-blind, randomized nasal challenges with allergen or placebo. Subjects were selected for a prior history of asthma exacerbations after the onset of seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms. After the induction of a marked nasal-allergic reaction (with a technique of nasal provocation that limited allergen delivery to the nose), there were no changes in FEV1, specific conductance, or lung volumes either 30 minutes or 4 1/2 hours after nasal allergen challenge, nor any changes in peak flow rates followed hourly until the next day. However, nasal provocation with allergen resulted in a relative increase in bronchial responsiveness to methacholine compared with that to placebo (p = 0.011 at 30 minutes and p = 0.0009 at 4 1/2 hours after challenge). Our study suggests that, although a nasal-allergic response does not induce airflow limitation of the lower airways, it can alter bronchial responsiveness.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / diagnosis*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Nasal Provocation Tests / methods
  • Nasal Provocation Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Function Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Time Factors


  • Allergens
  • Methacholine Chloride