TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.31, no.3, pp.674-678, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective: To evaluate the results of subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy administered to patients with allergic rhinitis.Material and Methods: The medical records of 42 patients who received immunotherapy between January 2002 and December 2008 according to the criteria specified by the World Health Organization and completed the treatment, were retrospectively evaluated. Median symptom seventies, total symptom scores, skin sensitivities to allergic skin tests, need for medical treatment and levels of recovery according to the visual analogue scale were recorded before and after subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy.Results: A total of 42 patients (15 men and 27 women), between 10-54 (median age 27.9 +/- 10.4 years) years of age were included in the study. Among the study group, 90.5% had perennial allergic rhinitis and 33.3% had a positive family history. Half of the patients were allergic to one substance and the other half was found to be allergic to more than one substance. Single allergen immunotherapy was used in the majority (85.7%) of the patients and few cases (14.3%) received parallel therapy. The decrease in the median symptom severity was found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). Before the administration of subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy, total symptom scores were between 6-12 (median 9.50 +/- 1.48) and after treatment, total symptom scores decreased to levels between 0-6 (median 3,64 +/- 0.94). This decrease was statistically significant (P<0.05). The decrease in the median value of total symptom scores was 61.6%. In 62% of our patients, medical therapy was not required after the administration of allergen-specific immunotherapy. Skin reactions to the post treatment prick tests diminished and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). After subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy, the median value in the visual analogue scale (VAS) decreased to 3.17, from the pretreatment value of 8.56 (P<0.05).Conclusion: Subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy is a long and demanding treatment process both for the patients and the physicians. However it is proven as a safe and efficient treatment modality in allergic rhinitis if used properly and with a correct indication.VAS can be used in the evaluation of the response to therapy in patients with allergic rhinitis.