Background: Sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy is a viable alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy particularly attractive for use in children.
Objective: This study investigated efficacy and safety of high-dose sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in children allergic to grass pollen in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Methods: After a baseline seasonal observation, 207 children aged 4 to 12 years with grass pollen-allergic rhinitis/rhinoconjunctivitis with/without bronchial asthma (Global Initiative for Asthma I/II) received either high-dose grass pollen SLIT or placebo daily for 1 pre-/co-seasonal period. The primary end point was the change of the area under the curve of the symptom-medication score (SMS) from the baseline season to the first season after start of treatment. Secondary outcomes were well days, responders, immunologic changes, and safety.
Results: Mean changes in the area under the curve of the SMS from the baseline to the first grass pollen season after the start of treatment were -212.5 for the active group and -97.8 for the placebo group (P = .0040). Rhinoconjunctivitis SMS (P = .0020) and separated symptom and medication scores were also statistically different between the 2 groups (P = .0121 and P = .0226, respectively). The number of well days and the percentage of responders were greater in the active group. Changes in allergen-specific IgE and IgG levels indicated a significant immunologic effect. The treatment was well tolerated, and no serious treatment-related events were reported.
Conclusions: This study confirmed that this SLIT preparation significantly reduced symptoms and medication use in children with grass pollen-allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. The preparation showed significant effects on allergen-specific antibodies, was well tolerated, and appeared to be a valid therapeutic option in children allergic to grass pollen. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00841256.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.