Prevalence of allergic rhinitis and nasal smear eosinophilia in 11- to 15 yr-old children in Shiraz

Sara Miri, Reza Farid, Hedayat Akbari, Reza Amin
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2006, 17 (7): 519-23
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common condition among schoolchildren. The prevalence rate of AR differs among countries and even among regions within the same country. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of nasal symptoms and signs of AR and nasal smear eosinophilia in 11- to 15-yr-old children in Shiraz. A total of 4584 children aged 11-15 yr of both sexes were surveyed from May 1995 to April 1996, and nasal symptoms and signs of AR (sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal blockage, itching, color change, mucosal swelling, nasal wetness, and nasal crease), based on questionnaire and ear, nose and throat (ENT) examination were recorded. In addition, smears were taken from nasal secretions and stained. The results compared with nasal smears related to 340 healthy children. 1008 (22%) schoolchildren had nasal symptoms of AR (based on the questionnaire), 445 (9.7%) were identified as having nasal symptoms and signs of AR (based on the questionnaire and ENT specialist examination), and 226 (5.8%) had nasal symptoms and signs of AR associated with nasal eosinophilia (based on the questionnaire, ENT specialist examination and positive nasal smear for eosinophilia). Nasal eosinophilia was present in 274 (62%) children with nasal symptoms and signs of AR. This survey showed that prevalence of nasal symptoms and signs of AR was high in schoolchildren in Shiraz. Nasal smear eosinophilia had a diagnostic specificity of 96% and sensitivity of 62% and seems to be a potentially valuable test for AR.

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