Non-allergic rhinitis (NAR) in children, named local allergic rhinitis (LAR) and non-allergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome (NARES), are recently termed entities in childhood characterized by symptoms suggestive of allergic rhinitis in the absence of systemic atopy. Nasal eosinophils (nEo) are the principal cells involved in the allergy inflammation and nasal allergen provocation test is the gold standard method for the diagnosis, albeit with several limitations. The aim of this study was to validate the presence of nEo in combination with the therapeutic response to nasal steroids, as a preliminary discriminator of NAR in real life data.
In a prospective cohort study, 128 children (63.3% male, aged 72 ± 42 m) with history of NAR were enrolled and followed up for 52 ± 32 m. Nasal cytology was performed and nasal steroids trial was recommended initially in all and repeatedly in relapsing cases. Response to therapy was clinically evaluated using 10-VAS.
Significant nEo was found in 59.3% of the cases and was related to reported dyspnea episodes. 23.4% had no response to therapy, whereas 51.5% were constantly good responders. Response to therapy was related to nEo and a cutoff point of 20% was defined as the most reliable biological marker with 94% sensitivity and 77% specificity.
In children with symptoms of NAR, the presence of nEo > 20% constantly responding to nasal steroid therapy, is a clear indicator of atopy. In an everyday clinical setting, it emerged as an easy, preliminary, cell biomarker suggestive of further investigation such as NAPT, to discriminate LAR from NARES.
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Papadopoulou, A., Lambidi, S., Lagousi, T. et al. Nasal eosinophilia as a preliminary discriminative biomarker of non-allergic rhinitis in every day clinical pediatric practice. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 280, 1775–1784 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-022-07704-0