Atopy in chronic rhinosinusitis

impact on quality of life outcomes

Jacqueline Ho*, Raquel Alvarado, Janet Rimmer, William A. Sewell, Richard J. Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), in particular with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), has been linked with skewed T-helper 2 and immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic responses. The role of atopy in CRS, however, remains unclear. Correlations between immunological allergic markers and patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) were investigated. Methods: A cross-sectional study of adult patients with CRS undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery was conducted. Immunological allergic markers included automated immunoassay testing for serum-specific IgE to common allergens (house dust mite, grass, mold, animal epithelia) and total IgE. PROMs were assessed using the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22). Patients were defined as atopic based on either a positive specific IgE or elevated total IgE (>160 kU/L). Results: A total of 446 patients (45.7% female, age 49.05 ± 14.96 years) were recruited, of which 42.8% had asthma, 51.6% had CRSwNP, and 63.0% had eosinophilic CRS. Positive allergen sensitization was detected in 52.9% patients. Total IgE levels were elevated in 28.0% with mean IgE level of 161 ± 269 kU/L. Atopy was associated with younger age at the time of surgery, CRSwNP, asthma, and eosinophilic CRS (eCRS). Atopy was also associated with increased severity in nasal symptom score (13.1 ± 6.4 vs 11.9 ± 6.0, p = 0.04), as well as worse scores in the loss of smell/taste (χ2(1) = 5.97, p = 0.02) and need to blow nose (χ2(1) = 4.26, p = 0.04) questions in the CRS population. In the CRSwNP population, there was no significant association between atopy and PROMs. Conclusion: Comorbid atopy in CRS is associated with additional symptom burden, reflected mainly within the nasal symptom quality of life markers. Atopy assessment in CRS is important to ensure appropriate and successful treatment of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Event64th Annual Meeting of the American-Rhinologic-Society (ARS) at the Annual Meeting of the Academy-of-Otolaryngology-Head-and-Neck-Society - Atlanta, Gabon
Duration: 5 Oct 20186 Oct 2018


  • allergy
  • atopy
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • ImmunoCAP
  • immunoglobulin E
  • nasal polyps
  • patient-reported outcome measures
  • quality of life

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