• allergic rhinitis;
  • eosinophil cationic protein;
  • short-term immunotherapy;
  • skin prick titration;
  • specific IgE;
  • specific IgG4;
  • tree pollen

The efficacy and tolerance of short-term immunotherapy (STI) by seven preseasonal injections of tree-pollen allergens (ALK7 FrUhbltihermischung®) was investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study with 111 rhinoconjunctivitis patients. Nasal and bronchial symptoms simultaneously analyzed, and nasal symptoms as a single end point, but not the overall score of nasal, bronchial, and conjunctival symptoms, showed a significantly lower increase with STI during birch-pollen exposure (both P= 0.033, n= 105, Mann-Whitney U-test). However, a selective analysis with patients from centers with high recruitment figures (nS10 patients, n=29 STI, n=32 placebo) showed a significantly lower increase of nasal, bronchial, and overall symptom score (STI 11.0 vs placebo 18.0, P=0.001, U-test). STI had equidirected effects on conjunctival, nasal, and bronchial symptoms analyzed as multiple end points, although conjunctival symptoms were not significantly different as a single end point. The seasonal increase in drug use was reduced by 62% in the STI group compared with placebo (P=0.032, Mest), Specific IgG4 increased only after STI (P<0,001); IgE was not significantly different. Eosinophil cationic protein remained unchanged with STI, but significantly increased with placebo in the pollen season (P=Qm3). STI was well tolerated. In conclusion, STI was shown to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of patients with tree-pollen rhinoconjunctivitis.