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1/109. New occupational allergen in citrus farmers: citrus red mite (Panonychus citri).

    BACKGROUND: There have been several reports of occupational allergy to spider mites (tetranychidae), but no published report has described citrus red mite (CRM, Panonychus citri)-induced occupational asthma confirmed by specific bronchial challenge. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical and immunologic characteristics of CRM-induced occupational asthma. methods AND RESULTS: We encountered 16 cases of CRM-induced occupational asthma among farmers cultivating citrus fruits. Asthmatic attacks corresponded closely with their work on citrus farms. The mean duration of the latent period was 12.9 (range 7 to 20) years. During their first visit to our clinic, nine patients with FEV1 lower than 70% of predictive value showed reversible airway obstruction after inhalation of bronchodilator, and seven with FEV1 greater than 70% of predictive value showed airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Fifteen of the 16 also complained of recurrent nasal symptoms, which had developed at an earlier time than the asthmatic symptoms. They showed strong positive reactions to CRM extract on skin prick test (A/H ratio > or = 1.0) and had high serum specific IgE antibody against CRM which was detected by ELISA. skin prick test with common inhalant allergens revealed that 10 had an isolated positive response to CRM with negative results to common inhalant allergens in their environment. The ELISA inhibition tests with CRM demonstrated significant inhibitions by CRM in a dose-dependent manner, while minimal inhibitions were noted by D. pteronyssinus and mugwort allergens. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that CRM could induce IgE-mediated bronchoconstriction in exposed workers on citrus farm. ( info)

2/109. Allergic fungal sinusitis. A report of two cases with diagnosis by intraoperative aspiration cytology.

    BACKGROUND: Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) is a newly recognized form of sinusitis characterized by opacification of the paranasal sinuses by "allergic mucin" (AM) admixed with scattered fungal organisms. AM consists of necrotic, or partially necrotic, eosinophils and Charcot-Leyden crystals suspended in lakes of laminated, mucinous material. AFS is characterized by the absence of bone or soft tissue invasion, purulent exudate or granulomatous inflammation. Clinically, it is important to differentiate AFS from both acute invasive fungal sinusitis and noninvasive mycetoma because the three diseases are treated with different modalities and have different prognoses. Although the radiologic features of AFS are often characteristic, occasionally it may be difficult to exclude neoplasia. CASES: Two cases of AFS, in which intraoperative diagnosis was made on the basis of the presence of both AM and fungal organisms, are reported. CONCLUSION: Cytologic diagnosis of AFS can be made from intraoperative sinus aspirates from the presence of AM and fungal elements. AM and fungi provide presumptive evidence for a noninvasive, allergic fungal disease and can help reassure clinicians intraoperatively and guide clinical management. ( info)

3/109. Treating allergic rhinitis in pregnancy. safety considerations.

    Allergic rhinitis affects approximately one-third of women of childbearing age. As a result, symptoms ranging from sneezing and itching to severe nasal obstruction may require pharmacotherapy. However, product labels state that medications for allergic rhinitis should be avoided during pregnancy due to lack of fetal safety data, even though the majority of the agents have human data which refute these notions. We present a systematic and critical review of the medical literature on the use of pharmacotherapy for the management of allergic rhinitis during pregnancy. Electronic databases and other literature sources were searched to identify observational controlled studies focusing on the rate of fetal malformations in pregnant women exposed to agents used to treat allergic rhinitis and related diseases compared with controls. immunotherapy and intranasal sodium cromoglycate (cromolyn) and beclo-methasone would be considered as first-line therapy, both because of their lack of association with congenital abnormalities and their superior efficacy to other agents. First-generation (e.g. chlorpheniramine) and second-generation (e.g. cetirizine) antihistamines have not been incriminated as human teratogens. However, first-generation antihistamines are favoured over their second generation counterparts based on their longevity, leading to more conclusive evidence of safety. There are no controlled trials with loratadine and fexofenadine in human pregnancy. Oral, intranasal and ophthalmic decongestants (e.g. pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine and oxymetazoline, respectively) should be considered as second-line therapy, although further studies are needed to clarify their fetal safety. No human reproductive studies have been reported with the ophthalmic antihistamines ketorolac and levocabastine, although preliminary data reported suggest no association between pheniramine and congenital malformations. There are no documented epidemiological studies with intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. budesonide, fluticasone propionate, mometasone) during pregnancy; however, inhaled corticosteroids (e.g. beclomethasone) have not been incriminated as teratogens and are commonly used by pregnant women who have asthma. In summary, women with allergic rhinitis during pregnancy can be treated with a number of pharmacological agents without concern of untoward effects on their unborn child. Although the choice of agents in part should be based on evidence of fetal safety, issue of efficacy needs to be addressed in order to optimally manage this condition. ( info)

4/109. Occupational IgE-mediated asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and contact urticaria caused by Easter lily (lilium longiflorum) and tulip.

    BACKGROUND: We report on IgE-mediated asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and contact urticaria to two liliaceae plants, tulip and Easter lily (lilium longiflorum), diagnosed in a floral shop worker. methods: Occupational asthma was diagnosed according to patient history, PEF monitoring, and a work-simulating provocation test. Flower-specific IgE was studied, and RAST inhibition tests were performed. RESULTS: skin prick testing showed positive reactions to tulip, Easter lily, and chrysanthemum. Total IgE was 180 kU/I, and specific IgE to tulip was 2.6 and to Easter lily 6.5 kU/I. In the RAST-inhibition test, no cross-reactivity was found. Occupational asthma was diagnosed by peak flow monitoring at work and at home, as well as specific inhalation challenge with Easter lily, with an immediate 18% reduction in PEF. In addition, contact urticaria and conjunctivitis were diagnosed. After a 9-year follow-up without exposure to lilies, the skin prick tests to L. longiflorum and tulip were still positive, but the specific IgE had disappeared. CONCLUSIONS: A case of IgE-mediated occupational asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and contact urticaria caused by L. longiflorum and tulip is presented. RAST inhibition tests indicated concomitant sensitization to the two liliaceae plants. ( info)

5/109. Respiratory allergy to mushroom spores: not well recognized, but relevant.

    BACKGROUND: Although basidiospores are a major component of the air spora in many parts of the world, their clinical significance as triggers of respiratory allergy has rarely been demonstrated. Therefore, the class of basidiomycetes as an aeroallergen is not well known. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between respiratory allergy and basidiospores, we illustrate this case report of a 38-year-old housewife. methods: skin prick test, immunoblot, and active anterior rhinomanometry were used as diagnostic tools to verify specific reactivity of a pleurotus pulmonalis spore extract. Two atopic subjects served as controls. RESULTS: The skin prick test positive study subject reacted with subjective and objective signs including a significant drop of the FEV1 by nasal challenge at a concentration of 0.1 mg/mL of the pleurotus spore extract while both controls were negative even at a higher test concentration. IgE-immunoblot revealed several distinct bands in the serum of the pleurotus-sensitized subject. CONCLUSION: spores of pleurotus pulmonalis, a common mushroom of the fungal class of basidiomycetes, can cause specific, IgE-mediated acute rhinoconjuncivitis and asthma in sensitized individuals. ( info)

6/109. Seven cases of complete and incomplete forms of churg-strauss syndrome not related to leukotriene receptor antagonists.

    BACKGROUND: Various forms of churg-strauss syndrome have been reported in association with the use of leukotriene receptor antagonists in asthmatic patients. OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to increase awareness that different forms of the churg-strauss syndrome occur in patients not receiving leukotriene modifiers. methods: We searched for all the cases of churg-strauss syndrome that were seen in the University of Rochester Medical Center, new york, in the past 4 years. RESULTS: We identified 7 patients, 6 of whom fulfilled the American College of rheumatology criteria for the classification of churg-strauss syndrome. None of them used leukotriene receptor antagonists. All had asthma and sinus disease. The duration and severity of their asthma varied considerably. In the majority of the patients the features of churg-strauss syndrome became obvious as the systemic corticosteroid dose was being tapered or discontinued, although 3 patients had not been receiving maintenance oral corticosteroids at disease onset. Three patients had positive antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies test result (perinuclear pattern). There was histologic documentation of vasculitis in 4 patients. Five of 7 patients responded to high-dose corticosteroid treatment. CONCLUSION: Our 7 cases are similar to the various forms of churg-strauss syndrome that have been reported in association with the leukotriene receptor antagonists. Complete or incomplete forms of this syndrome can become apparent in asthmatic patients as systemic corticosteroids are being tapered but can also occur in patients with mild asthma of short duration who use only inhaled corticosteroids. ( info)

7/109. Sensitization to oilseed rape is not due to cross-reactivity with grass pollen.

    BACKGROUND: Oilseed rape is an important crop grown in the UK which can cause specific immunological sensitization with clinical symptoms in a relatively small number of the general population. Individuals with immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated allergy to oilseed rape have also been found to be sensitized to other pollen allergens, most frequently being grass pollen. Cross-reactivity between common grass and oilseed rape would have important implications, especially as their flowering period coincides. OBJECTIVE: We have investigated whether the cosensitization found in individuals sensitized to both oilseed rape and grass pollen is due to cross-reactivity. methods: Cross-reactivity between oilseed rape and grass pollen was determined using RAST, RAST inhibition, Western blotting and inhibition studies with Western blotting. RESULTS: Competitive RAST inhibition studies between pollen of oilseed rape and grass failed to show any cross-reactivity between the pollen types. Self-inhibition with oilseed rape resulted in 90% inhibition, whereas there was less than 10% inhibition with grass pollen. Western blotting revealed allergens of similar molecular weight in both oilseed rape and grass pollen. Despite allergens of similar molecular weights being present in both pollen types, inhibition immunoblot studies confirmed that the allergens in the two allergens were immunologically distinct. CONCLUSION: The allergens of oilseed rape and grass pollen, although similar in molecular weights, are immunologically distinct and there is no evidence of cross-reactivity between them. Individuals allergic to grass pollen will not necessarily develop a specific nasal or airway response to inhaled oilseed rape pollens. ( info)

8/109. Report of successful prolonged antifungal therapy for refractory allergic fungal sinusitis.

    Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) is an increasingly recognized cause of refractory chronic sinusitis in the young immunocompetent host, analogous to allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), a related process in the lower respiratory tract. Most patients experience remittent disease despite corticosteroid therapy and aggressive sinus surgery. Because controlled trials have shown adjunctive antifungal therapy to be of benefit in treating ABPA, long-term oral itraconazole was used in a young man with remittent AFS, which was able to break the cycle of relapsing disease. ( info)

9/109. fever of unknown origin in a 10-year-old boy with allergic rhinitis and asthma.

    We believe this case represents a clear example of drug fever, and it appears to be the first report to implicate ketotifen as the responsible agent, confirmed with double rechallenge. The recognition of drug fever is clinically important. Failure to recognize the etiologic relationship between the drug and fever has unnecessary consequences, including extra testing, empiric therapy, and longer hospital stays. We suggest that ketotifen should be considered as a possible cause of fever in allergic patients receiving this drug. ( info)

10/109. Occupational IgE-mediated allergy to tribolium confusum (confused flour beetle).

    BACKGROUND: We report on IgE-mediated allergy in a worker caused by tribolium confusum (confused flour beetle). These beetles lived in the "old" flour to which he was exposed in his work. CASE REPORT: A 35-year-old, nonatopic mechanic in a rye crispbread factory developed rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthmatic symptoms, as well as urticaria on his wrists, lower arms, hands, neck, and face, during the maintenance and repair of machines contaminated by flour. This flour had been in and on the machines for a long time, and it contained small beetles. The patient did not suffer any symptoms when handling fresh, clean flour. RESULTS: skin prick tests with standard environmental allergens, storage mites, enzymes, flours, and molds were negative. A prick test with flour from the machines gave a 10-mm reaction. An open application of the same flour caused urticarial whealing on the exposed skin. Prick tests with fresh flour from the factory were negative. A prick test with minced T. confusum from the flour in the machines gave a 7-mm reaction. histamine hydrochloride 10 mg/ml gave a 7-mm reaction. Specific serum IgE antibodies to T. confusum were elevated at 17.2 kU/l. Prick tests with the flour from the machines were negative in five control patients. CONCLUSIONS: The patient had occupational contact urticaria, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthmatic symptoms from exposure to flour. His symptoms were caused by immediate allergy to the beetle T. confusum. Immediate allergy to this beetle has rarely been reported in connection with respiratory symptoms, but it may be more common. Contact urticaria from this source has not been reported before. ( info)
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