Skip to main content

Nasal mucosal brushing as a diagnostic method for allergic rhinitis

Buy Article:

$36.50 + tax (Refund Policy)


Allergen specific immunoglobulin E (spIgE) in the nasal mucosa is a biomarker for local allergic rhinitis. Inferior turbinate tissue biopsy is a sensitive method to detect nasal spIgE but is invasive. Nasal brushing is a relatively noninvasive method to detect nasal spIgE that may be of comparable diagnostic utility.


To assess the performance of nasal brushing to obtain a nasal spIgE sample compared with an inferior turbinate tissue biopsy among patients who underwent turbinate surgery.


A diagnostic cross-sectional study that involved participants who were undergoing turbinate surgery was performed. Nasal brushing, inferior turbinate tissue biopsy, blood collection, and skin-prick test (SPT) were performed perioperatively and tested for house-dust allergens. A receiver operating curve was used to assess the performance of the nasal brushings to obtain nasal spIgE samples compared with the inferior turbinate tissue biopsy. The diagnostic utility of nasal brushings of spIgE compared with serum spIgE testing and SPT was also assessed.


A total of 157 patients (41.61 ± 14.83 years; 37.6% women) were included. Nasal brushing was an excellent method to sample for nasal spIgE compared with inferior turbinate tissue biopsy (Area under curve (AUC) 0.87 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.81‐0.93], p < 0.01). Positive house-dust allergen spIgE results of nasal brushings was defined as > 0.1 kUA/L. Nasal brushings for spIgE sampling was also able to predict the presence of serum spIgE (AUC 0.93 [95% CI, 0.89‐0.97], p < 0.01) and SPT (AUC 0.80 [95% CI, 0.72‐0.87], p < 0.01).


Nasal brushing constituted an easy and relatively noninvasive method to sample nasal epithelium. This sampling technique was comparable with an inferior turbinate tissue biopsy and may be developed as a diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of local allergic rhinitis.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; entopy; house-dust allergy; immunoglobulin E; local allergic rhinitis; nasal brushings; nasal mucosa IgE; tissue homogenates

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Rhinology and Skull Base Research Group, St Vincent's Centre for Applied Medical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2: St Vincent's Clinical School, University of New South Wales Sydney, Sydney, Australia 3: Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprint Requests
  • Commercial level: Permission to use content
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content