Evaluation of allergic sensitization in Lebanese patients with allergic conjunctivitis
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To describe the profile of patients with allergic conjunctivitis (AC) regarding their demographics, symptomatology and specific allergen sensitization, in a Lebanese tertiary hospital.
Cross-sectional study conducted at the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital (Beirut, Lebanon) during a period of 18 months. Patients with seasonal or perennial AC presenting for ophthalmic consultation had measurements of total and specific IgE. A matching group of patients with AC seen at the allergist office during the same period underwent skin prick tests (SPTs).
Forty-four patients were enrolled for blood work by their ophthalmologists. Seasonal and perennial forms were almost equivalent. In total, 56.8% had positive specific IgE, with higher prevalence in patients with seasonal AC (p = 0.002), other associated allergies particularly allergic rhinitis (p = 0.002) or a family history of allergy (p = 0.005). Ocular surface severity scales were not shown as predictors. High levels of total IgE were commonly detected in those with positive specific IgE. Thirty-eight patients were assessed with SPT, and all had a positive result for at least one allergen. Dust mites were found to be the most frequent allergens based upon both specific IgE (72%) and SPT (92%), followed by Parietaria and other pollens.
In our study, dust mites mono- or co-sensitization is present in the majority of patients with AC, with odds of positivity being higher using SPT than specific IgE. The latter are found more readily in seasonal AC and in the presence of personal and family history of allergy.
KeywordsAirborne allergen Allergen-specific IgE Allergic conjunctivitis Conjunctiva Skin prick test
This work was supported by the Research Council of the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, which provided necessary funding for laboratory workup (Grant # FM237).
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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