Nasal hyper-reactivity is a common feature in both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis
Nasal hyper-reactivity is an increased sensitivity of the nasal mucosa to various nonspecific stimuli. Both allergic rhinitis (AR) and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) patients can elicit nasal hyper-reactivity symptoms. Differences in the prevalence or type of nasal hyper-reactivity in AR and NAR patients are largely unknown. In this study, we quantitatively and qualitatively assessed nasal hyper-reactivity in AR and NAR.
In the first part, an analysis of a prospectively collected database was performed to reveal patient-reported symptoms of hyper-reactivity. In the second part, cold dry air provocation (CDA) was performed as a hyper-reactivity measure in AR and NAR patients and healthy controls, and symptoms scores, nasal secretions and peak nasal inspiratory flow were measured. Comparisons were made between AR and NAR patients in both studies.
The database analysis revealed high hyper-reactivity prevalence in AR (63.4%) and NAR (66.9%). There were no differences between AR and NAR in terms of the number or type of hyper-reactivity stimuli. Hyper-reactivity to physical stimuli did not exclude a response to chemical stimuli, or vice versa. CDA provocation resulted in a significant increase in rhinitis symptoms and the amount of nasal secretions in AR and NAR patients, but not in controls.
We found no quantitative or qualitative differences in nasal hyper-reactivity between AR and NAR patients. It is not possible to differentiate NAR subpopulations based on physical or chemical stimuli.