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Otorinolaringologia 2006 March;56(1):37-51

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The links between allergic rhinitis and asthma

Carosso A., Bugiani M.

Unit of Allergology, Department of Pneumology CPA-Asl Torino 4, Turin, Italy


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Allergic rhinitis (AR), rhino-sinusitis, and asthma are frequently associated conditions, and this association has been recognized since the ancient age and studied since the early 1900s. Recent studies have strengthened the concept that AR, rhino-sinusitis, and asthma are manifestations of an inflammatory process within a continuous airway. Although the key component of this concept is inflammation, various additional mechanisms that link the upper (nose, sinuses, larynx, pharynx, and trachea) and lower (bronchi and lungs) airway segments are possible and not yet completely understood. Still, the united airway disease hypothesis is supported by findings from numerous epidemiologic, physiopathologic and immunologic studies. If validated this hypothesis might have significant clinical implications for the management of patients with AR or asthma. The purpose of this article is to review the data that suggest and describe the link between upper (e.g. AR, rhino-sinusitis) and lower airway (e.g. asthma) disorders and to suggest some unresolved issue.

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