Tryptase in nasal fluid is a useful marker of allergic rhinitis

G Rasp, K Hochstrasser
Allergy 1993, 48 (2): 72-4
Tryptase is a mast cell-specific marker of degranulation. To investigate the possible diagnostic value of tryptase in allergic rhinitis, we measured the levels in both serum and native nasal fluid with a sandwich RIA-assay (Pharmacia). Twenty-three allergic patients and five patients with chronic ethmoidal sinusitis were included. Eighteen of the 23 allergic patients were tested within the pollen season or had perennial rhinitis; the remainder were tested at least 1 month out of the pollen season. None of the patients had detectable serum tryptase (> 0.1 ng/ml). Also patients with chronic ethmoidal sinusitis showed no tryptase in nasal fluid. One of seven allergic patients tested out of season had slightly increased nasal tryptase of 1.8 ng/ml. In patients with active nasal allergy, the tryptase in nasal fluid ranged from 6.4 ng/ml to 640 ng/ml with a mean of 101 ng/ml and SD 173. These results show a clear distinction between active and non-active nasal allergy and other non-mast-cell-related nasal disease. Further, nasal tryptase release by natural allergen exposure is even higher than that observed in allergen challenge tests.

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