Atopic sensitization belongs to the most common risk factors for bronchial asthma. However, in clinical practice, it is not clear whether sensitization against pollen and perennial allergens is differently associated with the severity of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR).
To find out whether patients sensitized to perennial allergens differ in severity of bronchial hyperresponsiveness from patients sensitized to pollen allergens.
The study includes 109 patients. Based on the results of skin prick tests, patients were divided into three groups: sensitivity to pollen allergens – group A; sensitivity to perennial allergens – group B; sensitivity to both pollen and perennial allergens – group C. Based on the histamine bronchoprovocation test, we compared the values of histamine provocative concentration causing a 20% drop in FEV1 (PC20) among particular groups of patients. Mild bronchial hyperresponsiveness was determined if the value of PC20 was >4 mg/ml, while if the value of PC20 was <4 mg/ml, the bronchial hyperresponsiveness was considered as moderate/severe.
A statistically significant difference was found in the degrees of bronchial hyperresponsiveness between the three groups of patients, namely, group A with the patients sensitized only to the pollen allergens, group B comprising patients sensitized to the perennial allergens only, and group C, involving patients sensitized to the combination of both pollen and perennial allergens. The PC20 values were higher among the patients from the group A (7.46 mg/ml) compared to group B (4.25 mg/ml) and C (4.52 mg/ml). The odds ratio for moderate/severe BHR was 5.21 and 5.04 in group B and group C, respectively.
Severity of bronchial hyperresponsiveness shows differences according to sensitization to particular allergens. Perennial allergens are more often associated with serious forms of bronchial hyperresponsiveness which also have an impact on the severity and prognosis of bronchial asthma.