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Nasal cytology, neutrophils, allergic rhinitis

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Purpose: Nasal cytology is important in the diagnosis and treatment of nasal inflammatory diseases. Treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR) according to nasal cytology has not been fully studied. We plan to explore the individualized treatment of AR according to nasal cytology. Methods: Nasal cytology from 468 AR patients was examined for inflammatory cell quantity (grade 0-5) and the percentage of neutrophils and eosinophils. Results were subdivided into the following categories: AR(Eos), eosinophil ≥50% of the whole inflammatory cells; AR(Neu), neutrophils ≥90%; AR(Eos/Neu), 10%≤ eosinophil <50%; AR(Low), grade 0/1 inflammatory cell quantity. Nasal cytology-guided treatment was implemented: all AR(Eos) patients (n=22) and half of the AR(Neu) patients (AR[Neu1], n=22) were treated with mometasone furoate spray and oral loratadine. Another half of the AR(Neu) patients (AR[Neu2], n=22) were treated with oral clarithromycin. Visual analog scale (VAS), symptom scores, and nasal cytology were evaluated 2 weeks before and after treatment. Results: There were 224/468 (47.86%) AR(Eos), 67/468 (14.32%) AR(Neu), 112/468 (23.93%) AR(Eos/Neu), and 65/468 (13.89%) AR(Low) of the AR patients studied. There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics among these subgroups, except that the nasal blockage score was higher in AR(Eos) patients than in AR(Neu) patients (1.99 vs 1.50, P=0.02). Comparing AR(Eos) patients with AR(Neu1) patients 2 weeks after treatment, nasal symptoms and VAS were significantly lower in AR(Eos) patients, except for nasal blockage symptoms (P<0.05 of nasal itching and sneezing; P<0.01 for nasal secretion, total scores, and VAS). Comparing AR(Neu1) with AR(Neu2) patients, nasal symptoms, and VAS were significantly lower in AR(Neu2), except for nasal blockage and nasal itching symptoms (P<0.05 for nasal secretions, sneezing, total score, and VAS). Conclusions: Nasal cytology may have important value in subtyping AR and optimizing AR treatment. Treating neutrophils is very important in AR patients with locally predominant neutrophils.

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Allergy Asthma Immunol Research, v. 9, issue 5, p. 403-409