ACAAI: Mold sensitization in chronic rhinosinusitis patients requiring surgery

Mold sensitization is a risk factor for development and deterioration of upper airway allergy, especially chronic rhinosinusitis (including those cases requiring surgery). At ACAAI, held in November in Atlanta, researchers at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, presented a study of 38 chronic sinusitis patients post-surgery.

Routine medical examination, skin prick tests with common inhaled allergens, and an extended mold panel (Alternaria alternate, Cladosporium herbarium, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Mucor mucedo, Botrytis cinerea, Rhisopus nigricans, Penicilliumi notatum, Fusarum moniliforme Pullularia pullulans) was done as well as IgE and allergen-specific IgE measurement. All subjects were seen by an otolaryngologist; mycological examination was performed.

According to the study authors, sensitization to at least one allergen was present in 44.7% (17/38) of sinusitis patients. The most prevalent was sensitization to the house dust mite Dermatophagoides pt., found in 21.0% (8/38) of patients. Positive skin prick tests with Candida albicans occurred in 18.4% (7/38), with Alternaria alternata in 18.4% (7/38), Cladosporium herbarium in 10.52% (4/38), Aspergillus fumigatus in 5.26% (2/38), and Botrytis cinerea in 2.63% (1/38). None of these patients had sensitization to other mold allergens. Elevated allergen-specific IgE was seen for Candida in 24% (9/38) patients, Alternaria alternata 26% (10/38), and Cladosporium herbarium in 8% (3/38).

“Nearly half of chronic sinusitis patients had sensitization to at least one allergen,” the researchers concluded. “Mold allergy was commonly seen in chronic sinusitis patients requiring surgery, being comparable in occurrence to dust mite sensitization.”

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