With symptomatic seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized study

Garavello W1, Romagnoli M, Sordo L, Gaini RM, Di Berardino C, Angrisano A.

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Recent evidence suggests that nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline may be useful as an adjunctive treatment modality in the management of many sinonasal diseases.

However, no previous studies have investigated the efficacy of this regimen in the prevention of seasonal allergic rhinitis-related symptoms in the pediatric patient.

Twenty children with seasonal allergic rhinitis to Parietaria were enrolled in the study. Ten children were randomized to receive three-times daily nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline for the entire pollen season, which had lasted 6 weeks. Ten patients were allocated to receive no nasal irrigation and were used as controls. A mean daily rhinitis score based on the presence of nasal itching, rhinorrea, nasal obstruction and sneezing was calculated for each week of the pollen season.

Moreover, patients were allowed to use oral antihistamines when required and the mean number of drug assumption per week was also calculated. In patients allocated to nasal irrigation, the mean daily rhinitis score was reduced during 5 weeks of the study period. This reduction was statistically significantly different in the 3th, 4th and 5th week of therapy.

Moreover, a decreased consumption of oral antihistamines was observed in these patients. This effect became evident after the second week of treatment and resulted in statistically significant differences during the 3th, 4th and 6th week. This study supports the use of nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline in the pediatric patient with seasonal allergic rhinitis during the pollen season. This treatment was tolerable, inexpensive and effective.