, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 431-440

Pediatric Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma: Can the March be Halted?


The strong epidemiologic and pathophysiologic link between allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma has led to the concept of ‘united airways disease’ or ‘respiratory allergy’, implying that allergy, in its widest sense, underlies this clinical syndrome. Progression from AR to asthma is frequent and part of the ‘atopic march’. Since pediatric immune responses are more adaptable and therefore may be more amenable to treatment, interventions at early childhood are characterized by a higher chance to affect the natural history of respiratory allergy. Although current treatments are quite effective in alleviating respiratory allergy symptoms, it has proven much more difficult to confirm any influence on the progression of the disease. Much more promising is the field of specific allergen immunotherapy, where current evidence, although not yet of ideal robustness, points towards a disease-modifying effect. In addition, newer or emerging, possibly more effective or more targeted interventions are promising in the preventive sense.