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Pathophysiological features of the nasal mucosa in patients with idiopathic rhinitis compared to allergic rhinitis



Pathophysiological features of the nasal mucosa in patients with idiopathic rhinitis compared to allergic rhinitis



International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 119(4): 304-313



Background: The literature on abnormality of vasomotor responses of the nasal mucosa to cold stimulation of the skin in idiopathic rhinitis is conflicting. The objective of this study was to elucidate pathophysiological features of the nasal mucosa in idiopathic rhinitis compared to allergic rhinitis. Methods: The following were studied in patients with idiopathic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis and in normal controls: (1) threshold of the nasal reaction to histamine; (2) inflammatory cells in nasal lavage and scraped nasal mucosal epithelium, and (3) nasal vasomotor response to cold stimulation of the feet evaluated by acoustic rhinometry. Results: Inflammatory cells were not found to be involved in idiopathic rhinitis. Nasal reactivity to histamine was significantly enhanced in patients with idiopathic rhinitis compared to normal controls, but was significantly lower compared to those with allergic rhinitis. The most prominent finding in idiopathic rhinitis was nasal mucosal swellinginduced by cold stimulation of the feet. While in normal controls, cold stimulation of the feet caused mucosal contraction due to sympathetic excitation, sympathetic nasal vasomotor response in idiopathic rhinitis patients was significantly inhibited and caused mucosal swelling and enhanced nasal secretion. Mucosal reactions observed in allergic rhinitis were between those observed in idiopathic rhinitis and in normal controls. Cold stimulation of the feet increased systolic blood pressure by 5-15 mm Hg, but the degree of increase observed in the 3 groups was almost equal. Conclusions: The above findings indicate that patients with idiopathic rhinitis have abnormalities that inhibit sympathetic reactions and enhance parasympathetic vasomotor response at peripheral levels, possibly in the nasal mucosa.

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Accession: 011122192

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PMID: 10474036


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