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Original Article


Allergenic Profile of Nasal Polyposis


F Muñoz del Castillo,1 A Jurado-Ramos,1 BL Fernández-Conde,1 R Soler,1 MJ Barasona,2 E Cantillo,1 C Moreno,2 F Guerra2

1 ENT Service, Reina Sofía University Hospital, Cordoba, Spain and Department of Medicine, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain
2 Allergology Services, Reina Sofía University Hospital, Cordoba, Spain and Department of Medicine, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009; Vol. 19(2): 110-116



Background: Nasal polyposis is highly prevalent in the general population. Its exact origin is unknown, although several factors are involved in the etiology and development of this condition. Clinical patterns, a history of atopy, environmental exposure, eosinophil-mediated inflammation, the presence of inflammatory mediators, and sensitization to some allergens indicate that nasal polyposis is associated with allergic phenomena. The aim of this study was to identify the association between nasal polyposis and allergic factors by examining hypersensitivity reactions to common allergens and environmental exposure that could lead to the development of atopy.

Methods: We conducted a comparative study of 190 patients with nasal polyposis and 190 healthy individuals. The study included clinical and epidemiological variables, environmental exposure factors, and an allergology workup using skin prick tests with 18 inhaled allergens.

Results: A total of 121 patients (63.7%) of the 190 were male; 62.1% had a family history of allergy. The incidence of asthma was 48.9% among the patients and only 2.3% among the controls (P < .001). The factor most frequently involved in the patients’ symptoms was
weather changes (67.4%). Skin prick tests were positive in 63.2% of the patients and 31.1% of the controls. The allergens that most frequently elicited a reaction from the patients in the prick tests were Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (27.7%), Dermatophagoides farinae (21.3%), and Olea europaea (21.1%). The difference between these results and those of the controls was statistically significant.

Conclusions: Patients with nasal polyposis are sensitive to the most common allergens in our environment and exhibit a clear-cut correlation with other allergic factors, as confi rmed by personal and family histories, the presence of chronic rhinitis, and the results of in vivo tests.

Key words: Allergy. Chronic rhinosinusitis. Common airborne allergens. IgE-mediated phenomena. Nasal polyposis. Olea europaea.