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An 18-year Follow-up of Allergy Development Related to Nasal Metachromatic Cell Findings During Infancy
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre for Medicine, Allergy Centre UHL.
Department of Pediatrics, Sahlgrenska Academy of Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden/Phadia AB, Uppsala, Sweden.
2010 (English)In: Allergology International, ISSN 1323-8930, E-ISSN 1440-1592, Vol. 59, no 2, 193-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The ability to predict the development of allergic diseases in infants is important. Predictive biomarkers are wanted to improve the risk evaluation in addition to known heredity of allergy. Biomarkers taken during infancy need to be evaluated through longitudinal studies into adulthood. The objective of this study was to analyse the occurrence of metachromatic cells in the nasal mucosa during infancy (MCinfancy) and evaluate the cells as predictive biomarkers of allergy development.

Methods: Previously, MCinfancy occurrences were analysed in 64 infants with and without allergy heredity, and related to allergy development at 18 months and 6 years of age. In this third follow-up at 18 years of age, current allergy symptoms were analysed. MCinfancy findings were related to the cumulative number of allergic subjects. The predictive values of MCinfancy and known heredity were compared.

Results: The cumulative number of subjects with allergy was 46, probable allergy 5, and no allergy 13. Detected MCinfancy predicted allergy with high accuracy (31/33), but negative MCinfancy findings did not exclude the risk (15/31). In the group of allergic subjects positive MCinfancy were found in 31/46 (67%), positive heredity in 37/46 (80%) and one/both factors positive in 43/46 (93%). Detection of MCinfancy could precede the debut of allergy symptoms by many years.

Conclusions: Detected MCinfancy predicted allergy development, but absence of MCinfancy did not exclude the risk, and therefore this biomarker was not found to be adequate. There is a further need to find biomarkers with high ability to both predict and exclude the risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 59, no 2, 193-200 p.
Keyword [en]
Metachromatic cells, nasal mucosa, infancy, allergy, asthma, allergic rhinitis, dermatitis, prediction, 18 year follow-up
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15850DOI: 10.2332/allergolint.09-OA-0132PubMedID: 20299825OAI: diva2:127631
Available from: 2008-12-10 Created: 2008-12-09 Last updated: 2013-07-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An 18 year Follow-up of Allergy Development: Findings of Nasal Markers of Allergic Inflammation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An 18 year Follow-up of Allergy Development: Findings of Nasal Markers of Allergic Inflammation
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
En 18 års uppföljning av allergiutveckling : fynd av markörer i näsa vid allergisk inflammation
Abstract [en]

Background: In addition to the family history of allergy (FH), there is a need o find objective markers of allergy development as early in life as possible in order to focus preventive measurements on high risk infants. Rhinitis problems are common causes to morbidity in adults due to allergic as well as non-allergic mechanisms. Accurate diagnoses are essential for decisions of optimal management of the patients, but in non-allergic rhinitis groups there are no objective tests to verify the diagnosis, if this is needed.

Aims: The primary aim was to evaluate the occurrence of nasal metacromatic (MC) cells during infancy as predictors for allergy development in a group of high risk subjects from birth up to 18 years of age. Additional aims were to find and evaluate nasal markers with ability to differentiate between allergic rhinitis with and without current allergen exposure from normal controls.

Subjects and methods: New-borns (n = 67) with and without family histories of allergy were included, and during the first 18 months of life occurrence of nasal MC could be evaluated in 64 infants (33 positive/31 negative MC findings). The cohort was followed up for allergy development at the ages of 18 months, 6 years and 18 years. Nasal markers as MC, nasal NO, nitrite/nitrate in nasal lavage and acoustic rhinometry at the 18-years follow-up were related to the allergic manifestations at this age.

Results: Positive nasal MC findings during infancy predicted allergy development up to 18 years of age in 31/33 subjects (94 %), as compared to 37/44 with positive FH (84 %). Negative MC findings during infancy did not exclude the risk, as 15/31 developed allergy (48 %). At the 18-years follow-up the numbers of individuals with demonstrable MC were significantly higher (p = 0.01) in the group of individuals with allergy symptoms (16/30) compared to the group of individuals with no allergy (1/12). Nasal NO levels, nitrite/nitrate concentrations in nasal lavages and acoustic rhinometry did not differentiate the allergic groups from the normal group.

Conclusions: Positive nasal MC findings during infancy predicted allergy development up to 18 years of age, and the cell findings often preceded the allergic symptoms. The marker can not be used as a single predictor of allergy development due to negative MC findings in a high proportion of allergic subjects. Positive MC findings combined with positive FH resulted in the best the risk evaluation. Differences between groups with and without current allergen exposure and healthy controls were not found by means of acoustic rhinometry, nasal MC, nasal NO or nitrites/nitrates levels. Further research to find reliable nasal markers is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. 40 p.
Linköping Studies in Health Sciences. Thesis, ISSN 1100-6013 ; 89
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15853 (URN)978-91-7393-748-1 (ISBN)
2008-12-03, Elsa Brändströms sal, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet , Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2008-12-09 Created: 2008-12-09 Last updated: 2009-04-30Bibliographically approved

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