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MINERVA PEDIATRICA

A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 April;56(2):151-6

language: Italian

Role of leukotriene antagonists in non-asthmatic disorders

Pescollderungg L.


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It has been shown that the leukotriens play a role in the pathobiologic process of allergic asthma and wheezing due to infection. Their specific role in other respiratory disorders or in other diseases is not yet fully understood. A recent consensus has elaborated the guidelines for the treatment of asthma in the paediatric age. According to these guidelines, the leukotriene-antagonists are recommended as a possible alternative to inhaled corticosteroids in the long-term treatment of mild persistent asthma. The association of antileukotrienes with the usual classical therapy led to a great improvement in the treatment of the most severe forms of the disease. Moreover, a growing number of disorders such as allergic rhinitis, chronic urticaria, atopic dermatitis and nasal polyposis seem to benefit from the use of these new drugs. In allergic rhinitis, the most common allergic disorder, the leukotrienes seem to be, together with histamine, important mediators of both the early and late stage of the allergic reaction. They seem to be responsible for the vasodilation and therefore for the nasal obstruction. There is a production of leukotrienes also in chronic urticaria, which is more frequent in adults, and in atopic dermatitis, which usually has its onset in the paediatric age. This paper summarizes the results of several clinical trials evaluating the therapeutical efficacy and safety of the leukotriene-antagonists. Despite the promising results, further studies are however necessary on a greater number of patients before recommending the use of this type of drug in this kind of disorders.

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