Local mucosal immunoglobulin E production: does allergy exist in non-allergic rhinitis?


D. G. Powe, Division of Pathology, School of Molecular Medical Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
E-mail: des.powe@nottingham.ac.uk


In this review, we critically evaluate the evidence for local IgE production in allergic rhinitis mucosa and the concept of local allergy in non-atopic idiopathic rhinitis. Significantly, fewer studies have focused on the disease pathways associated with non-allergic rhinitis compared with their allergic counterparts. Recently, there's been a revival of the hypothesis concerning the existence of local tissue-specific allergic disease confined to the nasal mucosa of some systemically non-atopic rhinitis subjects. Providing the evidence for local mucosal IgE production in allergic rhinitis is a pre-requisite to reviewing its existence in non-allergic rhinitis. In addition, practical and theoretical approaches useful in the detection of allergy in non-allergic rhinitis will be discussed. Furthermore, successful therapeutic regimens used in the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis will be examined as these could provide an insight into the underlying pathophysiology of this common but poorly understood disease.