• allergic rhinitis;
  • glutaraldehyde;
  • occupational asthma;
  • specific challenge

Background: Glutaraldehyde (GA) is a known respiratory sensitizers, and some studies have reported occupational asthma in exposed workers. Specific changes in nasal lavage fluid (NLF) induced by high-molecular-weight allergen provocation in sensitized subjects were described previously. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the changes in cytogram, protein content, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), and mast-cell tryptase concentrations in NLF after GA inhalation challenge in patients with a positive history of GA-induced asthma and late or dual asthmatic response due to exposure to low-level GA.

Methods: A single-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed on 11 health workers with occupational asthma and rhinitis due to GA. The control groups comprised 10 atopic subjects with perennial asthma and rhinitis and 10 healthy ones. A “nasal pool” technique was used to evaluate the examined parameters in nasal washings before and 30 min, 4 h, and 24 h after the inhalatory provocation with GA and placebo.

Results: There was a significant increase in eosinophil number and percentage, and albumin, ECP, and tryptase concentrations in NLF from patients with occupational asthma and rhinitis when compared to controls.

Conclusions: The results indicate the immunologic mechanism of GA-induced asthma and the applicability of the “nasal pool” technique as the diagnostic procedure in GA-induced airway allergy.