Allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma update: allergen immunotherapy.
Journal: 2007/May - Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
ISSN: 0091-6749
The Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma document was first published in 2001. Since then, new data on specific immunotherapy have appeared. This review is intended as an update to the original document. MedLine (2001 to June 2006) was searched with appropriate key words, and panelists were asked to identify further relevant articles. Randomized controlled trials were considered for the evaluation of efficacy. For the evaluation of safety and additional effects, studies with lower grades of evidence were included. The clinical efficacy of injection immunotherapy in rhinitis and asthma was confirmed, as well as the safety, provided that recommendations are followed. Studies have demonstrated the long-term efficacy and the preventive effect of immunotherapy in reducing the onset of new sensitizations. One randomized open trial demonstrated that in children with allergic rhinitis, injection immunotherapy may reduce the risk of developing asthma. There is strong evidence that sublingual immunotherapy is effective in allergic rhinitis in adults. Recent meta-analyses demonstrated its efficacy in allergic rhinitis in children and in asthma, although more definitive trials are required. Current data indicate that sublingual immunotherapy is safe and the rate of adverse reactions is not greater below 5 years of age. One randomized open trial showed that in children with allergic rhinitis, sublingual immunotherapy reduced the onset of asthma. Further studies are needed to identify the optimal maintenance dose and to elucidate the mechanism of action. Novel approaches for immunotherapy are currently under evaluation, including the use of adjuvants, peptides, and DNA-conjugated and recombinant allergens.
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