Rhinitis symptoms are present in approximately 70% of subjects with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (FM/CFS). Because only 35% to 50% have positive allergy skin tests, nonallergic mechanisms may also playa role. To better understand the mechanisms of nonallergic rhinitis in FM/CFS, nasal lavages were performed, and markers of vascular permeability, glandular secretion, and neutrophil and eosinophil infiltration measured in 27 nonallergic FM/CFS, 7 allergic rhinitis, 7 cystic fibrosis, and 9 normal subjects. Allergic rhinitis subjects had significantly increased vascular permeability (IgG) and ECP levels. Cystic fibrosis subjects had significantly higher elastase and total protein levels. There were no significant differences between FM/CFS and normal lavage fluids. Analysis of the constituents of nasal mucus provides information about ongoing secretory processes in rhinitis. There were no differences in the basal secretion of these markers of vascular permeability. submucosal gland serous cell secretion, eosinophil and neutrophil degranulation in nonallergic FM/CFS subjects. This suggests that constitutively active secretory processes that regulate continuous production of nasal secretions are not altered in FM/CFS. Future studies should examine alternative mechanisms such as inducible, irritant-activated, or reflex-mediated effects.
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Document Type: Research Article
From the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
From the Department of Otorhinolwyngology, Mie University, Tsu, Japan
Publication date: 01 November 1998