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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus




Otorinolaringologia 2004 March;54(1):1-13

language: English, Italian

The asthma-rhinitis link

Passalacqua G., Compalati E., Canonica G. W.

Allergy and Respiratory Diseases Department of Internal Medicine University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy


The ­link exist­ing ­between ­upper and low­er res­pir­a­to­ry ­tracts is ­well ­known ­since ­many ­decades, but it has ­been care­ful­ly inves­ti­gat­ed ­only dur­ing the ­last 10 ­years. Several clin­i­cal and experi­men­tal obser­va­tions had sug­gest­ed the work­ing hypoth­e­sis of the ­unity of ­upper and low­er air­ways. This con­cept has ­many fac­ets and ­involves epi­dem­i­olog­i­cal, immu­no­log­i­cal and func­tion­al ­aspects. Moreover, in addi­tion to the asso­ci­a­tion of aller­gic asth­ma and rhin­itis, a rel­e­vant ­role of sinus­itis and ­viral infec­tions ­have ­also ­been ­noticed. At ­present, we ­have avail­able numer­ous experi­men­tal ­data sup­port­ing the hypoth­e­sis of the unit­ed air­ways, includ­ing the ­effects of ­drugs ­used main­ly for rhin­itis on asth­ma symp­toms. On the oth­er ­hand, sev­er­al ­aspects ­still ­need to be elu­ci­dat­ed, expe­cial­ly con­cern­ing the asth­ma-rhin­itis ­link in non aller­gic sub­jects. In the ­present arti­cle we attempt­ed to col­lect­ and ­review the ­most rel­e­vant experi­men­tal ­results, so far pro­vid­ed, sup­port­ing the unit­ed air­ways dis­ease and the stud­ies con­duct­ed on the pos­sible mech­a­nisms of the inter­ac­tion ­between the ­nose and the ­lung.

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