Early-life mold and tree sensitivity is associated with allergic eosinophilic rhinitis at 4 years of age.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2015; 114(3):193-198.e4AA
Nasal eosinophils are a biomarker for allergic rhinitis (AR) and are associated with increased symptom severity.
To identify predictors of allergic eosinophilic rhinitis (AER) in early childhood in children at higher risk for chronic allergic respiratory disorders.
In the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study, infants born to aeroallergen-sensitized and symptomatic parents were examined and underwent skin prick testing (SPT) annually to 15 aeroallergens from 1 to 4 years of age. Wheal circumferences were traced and scanned and areas were determined by computer planimetry. At 4 years, AER was defined as (1) at least 1 positive aeroallergen SPT result, (2) presence of sneezing and runny nose without a cold or influenza, and (3) nasal eosinophilia of at least 5%. Wheal areas at 1 to 3 years were analyzed for an association with AER compared with children without AR.
At 4 years, 487 children completed rhinitis health histories, SPT, and nasal sampling. Ninety-nine children (22.8%) had AR. Thirty-eight children had AER (8.8% of total sample and 38.4% of AR sample, respectively). At 3 years, for every 1-mm(2) increase in Penicillium species (adjusted odds ratio 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.32, P = .002) and maple (adjusted odds ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.13, P = .02), wheal area significantly increased the risk of AER at 4 years of age.
Allergic eosinophilic rhinitis was identified in 8.8% of children at 4 years of age. Age 3 years was the earliest that aeroallergen SPT wheal areas were predictive of AER. Skin testing at 3 years identifies children at risk for an AR phenotype with nasal eosinophilia.