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The effect of intranasal carbon dioxide on the acute response to nasal challenge with allergen

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Intranasal carbon dioxide (CO2) was shown to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). This study was designed to evaluate the effect of CO2 on nasal allergen challenge. We conducted a randomized, controlled, crossover trial in 12 subjects with SAR outside their pollen season. Thirty minutes after a 20-second exposure to CO2 or no exposure, subjects underwent a unilateral, localized, nasal allergen challenge. Filter paper disks were placed on the nasal septum to deliver a sham challenge followed by 2 increasing doses of either grass or ragweed allergen. Secretions were collected from both sides of the septum to evaluate the nasonasal reflex and were assayed for histamine. Nasal and eye symptoms were recorded. The primary outcome measure was the contralateral, reflex, secretory response to allergen as measured by secretion weights. Secondary outcome measures included ipsilateral nasal secretion weights, nasal and eye symptoms, levels of histamine in nasal secretions, and eosinophils in nasal scrapings. Subjects reported a transient burning sensation during exposure to CO2. Compared with no treatment, active treatment resulted in a significant reduction in sneezes (p = 0.05), contralateral secretion weights (p = 0.04), and bilateral runny nose symptoms (p = 0.01). Ipsilateral secretion weights were numerically reduced. Histamine levels in ipsilateral nasal secretions increased significantly when the subjects received sham treatment but did not increase after pretreatment with CO2. Treatment with nasal CO2 resulted in partial reduction of the acute response to allergen challenge. Reflex responses were reduced, supporting an effect on neuronal mechanisms, which predict usefulness in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health Identifier: NCT00618410.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; carbon dioxide (CO2); challenge; eosinophils; histamine; nasal; nasonasal reflex; runny; sneezes; stuffy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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