Although asthma and rhinitis often coexist, it is still unknown whether they are characterized by a similar inflammatory profile. We studied eosinophilic infiltration, epithelial shedding and reticular basement membrane thickness in nasal and bronchial biopsies of six control subjects, 15 untreated allergic asthmatics with perennial rhinitis, and six corticosteroid-dependent (CSD) asthmatics. In nasal and bronchial biopsies, eosinophils were greater in untreated asthmatics than in control subjects and CSD asthmatics (p = 0.001). In untreated asthmatics, eosinophils were higher in bronchial than in nasal biopsies (p = 0.002). In nasal and bronchial biopsies, reticular basement membrane thickness was greater in untreated and CSD asthmatics than in control subjects (nasal: p < 0.008 and p < 0. 004; bronchial: p < 0.001 and p < 0.008). In untreated and CSD asthmatics, reticular basement membrane thickness was greater in bronchial than in nasal biopsies (p = 0.001; Wilcoxon's W test). Nasal epithelium was not shed in all the study groups. In untreated asthmatics, bronchial epithelium shedding was greater than in control subjects or CSD asthmatics (p < 0.005), and it was greater than nasal epithelium shedding (p < 0.006). This study has shown that, although concomitant, the extent of eosinophilic inflammation of reticular basement membrane thickness and of the epithelium shedding is greater in bronchial than in nasal mucosa of asthmatic patients with perennial rhinitis.