Nasal blown secretion evaluation in specific occupational nasal challenges

  • Patrizia Pignatti
  • Gianni Pala
  • Marta Pisati
  • Luca Perfetti
  • Gabriella Banchieri
  • Gianna Moscato
Original Article



To investigate the usefulness of nasal blown secretion evaluation during specific nasal provocation test (sNPT) in diagnosing occupational rhinitis (OR).


To validate the method, nasal blown secretions from 103 healthy subjects and 30 allergic rhinitis patients were analyzed. Furthermore, we analyzed nasal blown secretions, collected before and after sNPT, of 29 subjects with work-related rhinitis symptoms (WRRS) who underwent the diagnostic pathway for OR. Rhinoscopy and nasal symptom score were used to define a positive sNPT.


A total of 89.6% WRRS subjects provided suitable nasal secretions. Eosinophils significantly increased after positive sNPTs compared to negative ones (P = 0.006). Four percent and/or 1 × 104 eosinophils/ml was the cut-off for a significant post-sNPT eosinophil increase. A total of 4/13 (33%) WRRS subjects with negative sNPT, assessed by rhinoscopy and nasal symptom score, presented a significant post-sNPT nasal eosinophil increase, and were identified as possible OR.


Eosinophil evaluation in nasal blown secretions is an important tool in monitoring the response to occupational specific nasal challenges.


Eosinophils Nasal provocation test Nasal blown secretions Occupational rhinitis Reference values 



Specific nasal provocation test/challenge


Occupational rhinitis


Work-related rhinitis symptoms


Allergic rhinitis


Standard deviation




High molecular weight


Low molecular weight


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrizia Pignatti
    • 1
  • Gianni Pala
    • 1
  • Marta Pisati
    • 1
  • Luca Perfetti
    • 1
  • Gabriella Banchieri
    • 1
  • Gianna Moscato
    • 1
  1. 1.Allergy and Immunology Unit and ISPESL Occupational Immunology and Allergy Laboratory, Fondazione ‘Salvatore Maugeri’Institute of Research and Care, Scientific Institute of PaviaPaviaItaly

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