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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.