Hong Kong Med J 2007;13:131-6 | Number 2, April 2007
The skin prick test results of 977 patients suffering from chronic rhinitis in Hong Kong
APW Yuen, S Cheung, KC Tang, WK Ho, BYH Wong, ACS Cheung, ACW Ho
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To evaluate the prevalence of aetiological allergens identifiable by skin prick test alone in patients suffering from chronic rhinitis in Hong Kong, and also compared the clinical history and symptoms of skin prick test-positive versus skin prick test-negative patients.
DESIGN. Prospective study.
SETTING. Otorhinolaryngology clinic in Queen Mary Hospital of Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. A total of 977 patients suffering from chronic rhinitis were recruited into the study. Skin prick test was performed with a panel of allergens including house dust mites, cockroach, cat, dog, moulds, and pollens.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Skin prick test results and their correlation with symptoms.
RESULTS. Of the 977 patients, 651 (67%) had positive skin prick test reactions. The commonest allergen was house dust mite which was positive in 63% of the 977 patients and 95% of those 651 skin prick test-positive patients. The other allergens were in order of cockroach (23%), cat (14%), dog (5%), pollen (4%), and mould (3%). Compared with skin prick test-negative patients, skin prick test-positive patients were more likely to have earlier age of onset of the chronic rhinitis, association with asthma, more severe symptom in the morning, more severe symptoms of itchy nose, sneezing, nasal discharge, itchy eye, and watery eye.
CONCLUSIONS. Identifiable aeroallergens could be detected in 67% chronic rhinitis patients by skin prick test alone. House dust mites were the most prevalent causative allergen. There were significant differences of patterns of clinical history and symptoms severity between skin prick test-positive and skin prick test-negative patients.
Key words: Allergens; Rhinitis, allergic, perennial
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