Clinical & Experimental Allergy

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.


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.