Influence of allergen avoidance at high altitude on serum markers of eosinophil activation in children with allergic asthma


Professor A. Boner. Clinica Pediatrica, Policlinico B. Roma, 37134 Verona, Italy.


A cohort of 12 asthmatic children was followed over several months, during which they moved back and forth from an allergen-free to an allergen-rich environment at high and low altitude, respectively. The children were treated with non-steroidal anti-asthmatic drugs as clinically needed. Histamine PC20-FEV1 was unaltered during the study period, whereas serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and eosinophil protein X (EPX) showed significant changes when the children were exposed to the offending allergens. The total IgE significantly increased during exposure. The serum levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) as well as of chemotactic factors for both neutrophils and eosinophils were unaltered during allergen exposure. We conclude that the serum markers of eosinophil activity ECP and EPX are sensitive indices of allergen exposure in asthmatic atopic children.