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Allergic sensitization in Canadian chronic rhinosinusitis patients
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    Background

    Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a societal burden and cause of morbidity in Canada; however, the prevalence of allergic sensitization in Canadian CRS patients has remained poorly characterized.

    Objective

    In this study, we used skin prick test (SPT) and specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) and G (sIgG) titers to regionally relevant allergen sources in order to determine whether allergic sensitization is more prevalent in CRS patients compared to chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) control patients.

    Methods

    One hundred and fifty eight subjects (19–70 years of age) were recruited into the study. 101 subjects had a confirmed diagnostic history of CRS and 57 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of CIU were recruited as controls. Enrolled subjects underwent SPT to a panel of perennial and seasonal allergens and sIgE titers were quantified to selected environmental allergen mixes (grass, mold, and tree species) using Phadia ImmunoCAP. sIgG was additionally quantified to Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus versicolor, Cladosporium herbarum, and Stachybotrys atra. Differences between CRS and control CIU patient SPT and serological data were examined by chi-squared analysis and analysis of variance.

    Results

    Reactivity to at least one SPT extract occurred in 73% of CRS patients. Positive SPT reactivity to A. alternata (odds ratio (OR): 4.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.57, 12.02), cat (OR: 3.23, 95% CI: 1.16, 9.02), and ragweed (OR: 2.31, 95% CI: 1.02, 5.19) extracts were more prevalent in patients with CRS (p < 0.05). Although dust mite and timothy grass sensitization approached statistical significance in the chi-squared analysis of SPT data, other common perennial and seasonal allergens were not associated with CRS. No statistically significant differences were observed between mean sIgE and sIgG titers in CRS and control patients.

    Conclusions

    This study supports previous data that suggests A. alternata sensitization is associated with CRS; however, these findings additionally highlight the contribution of other regionally important allergens including cat and ragweed.