Clinical & Experimental Allergy

A standardized filter paper technique for assessing nasal secretory activity


* Correspondence to present address: Dr. G. K. Knowles, Chest Department, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE.


A simple filter paper technique for estimating nasal secretory activity (NSA) was studied in 179 healthy adults. The technique was reproducible and NSA correlated independently with age and race (P < 0.001 in each case) but not with sex or smoking habits. Subjects with a past history of atopic disease (asthma, rhinitis or eczema) produced significantly more nasal secretion than those without such a history (P<0.03). Among the former there was no significant difference in quantity of secretion recovered between those with and those without a past history of rhinitis.

Increased NSA appears to be a marker of the atopic state and its measurement could be of value in the management of patients with allergic nasal disorders.