One of the most important aspects of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is the regimen of administration. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy and the safety of SLIT given pre-coseasonally (starting before the pollen season and continuing until the end of it) and continuously (all year round, independent of the pollen season) in children allergic to grass pollen.
Sixty children aged 6-18, sensitive only to grass pollen, with rhinitis (20 patients had concomitant asthma) participated in the 2-year prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Both pre-coseasonal and continuous SLIT were associated with a substantial reduction in the combined symptoms/medication score when compared with placebo; there were no significant differences between the regimens (mean difference: 18.1 ± 12.4, P > 0.05). Similar changes were observed in the total symptoms score. Pre-coseasonal therapy, compared with continuous, was more effective in the reduction of nasal symptoms (mean difference: -18.0 ± 2.5, P = 0.006). We did not observe significant differences in medication, ocular, and asthma scores between the regimens. We did not observe changes in morning PEF, FEV1, and PD20 in any of the three groups nor between the groups throughout the study. We showed a significant decrease in FeNO level comparable in both active groups. There were no differences between groups in the induction of CD4CD25Foxp3-positive cells in peripheral blood during the study.
Both protocols were effective compared with placebo and showed similar decreases for combined symptoms/medication score and all secondary endpoints, with the exception of nasal symptoms that were lower in the pre-coseasonal group.
"The comparative effect of precoseasonal and continuous grass pollen SLIT in children has been investigated by Stelmach et al.  in a 2-year, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Both precoseasonal and continuous regimens were similarly associated with a substantial reduction in the combined symptoms/medication score, including the asthma score, when compared with placebo. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opinion statement
Current asthma therapies can effectively control symptoms and the on-going inflammatory process; however, they do not affect the underlying, dysregulated immune response. Thus, they are limited to blunting the progression of the disease, which relapses on ceasing the treatment. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only etiology-based treatment capable of disease modification. Recent evidence provided a plausible explanation for its multiple mechanisms inducing both rapid desensitization and long-term allergen-specific immune tolerance, as well as the suppression of allergic inflammation in the affected tissues. Although the current guideline documents give both subcutaneous (SCIT) and sublingual (SLIT) immunotherapy a conditional recommendation in allergic asthma due to the moderate and low quality of evidence, respectively, a growing body of evidence from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies shows that both SLIT and SCIT are effective in reducing symptom scores and medication use, improving quality of life, and inducing favorable changes in specific immunologic markers. Due to the very limited evidence from head-to-head comparative studies and variability of the end-point used in different studies, it is currently not possible to assess superiority of either route of vaccine administration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recommended duration of specific immunotherapy (SIT) treatment relies on empiric data and is not well documented.
To detect possible differences in the long-term effectiveness between 3 and 5 years of house dust mite (HDM) SIT in asthmatic children.
We performed a 3-year natural history study of 90 asthmatic children who were sensitive only to HDM. Three groups were recruited: 30 who had completed 3 years of HDM SIT (SIT3), 30 who had completed 5 years of HDM SIT (SIT5), and 30 who had an indication for HDM SIT but whose parents refused HDM SIT. Patients attended an enrollment visit in 2007, after SIT discontinuation, and 3 annual follow-up visits at the clinic. The long-term effectiveness of HDM SIT was primarily assessed via analysis of the reduction in required inhaled corticosteroid dose, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and asthma remission.
A total of 84 children completed the study. Both SIT durations produced excellent results; asthma remission in both SIT3 (50%) and SIT5 (54%) groups was significantly higher when compared with control (3.3%). The minimal controlling inhaled corticosteroid dose reduction in SIT5 group (median, 75%) was significantly higher compared with the SIT3 group (median, 50%) after immunotherapy discontinuation; after 3 years without SIT, no differences were found between the SIT5 and SIT3 groups (median, 100% and 94%, respectively). We observed a slightly higher increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 second in the SIT5 group compared with the SIT3 group.
Three years of SIT is an adequate duration for the treatment of childhood asthma associated with HDM allergy because 2 further years of SIT added no clinical benefit.
Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 10/2012; 109(4):274-8. DOI:10.1016/j.anai.2012.07.015 · 2.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objective:
Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is approved in the United States for the treatment of pediatric asthma and rhinitis; sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) does not have regulatory approval but is used in clinical practice. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of SCIT and SLIT for the treatment of pediatric asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.
Two independent reviewers selected articles for inclusion, extracted data, and graded the strength of evidence for each clinical outcome. All studies were randomized controlled trials of children with allergic asthma or rhinoconjunctivitis treated with SCIT or an aqueous formulation of SLIT. Data sources were Medline, Embase, LILACS, CENTRAL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials through May 2012.
In 13 trials, 920 children received SCIT or usual care; in 18 studies, 1583 children received SLIT or usual care. Three studies compared SCIT with SLIT head-to-head in 135 children. The strength of evidence is moderate that SCIT improves asthma and rhinitis symptoms and low that SCIT improves conjunctivitis symptoms and asthma medication scores. Strength of evidence is high that SLIT improves asthma symptoms and moderate that SLIT improves rhinitis and conjunctivitis symptoms and decreases medication usage. The evidence is low to support SCIT over SLIT for improving asthma or rhinitis symptoms or medication usage. Local reactions were frequent with SCIT and SLIT. There was 1 report of anaphylaxis with SCIT.
Evidence supports the efficacy of both SCIT and SLIT for the treatment of asthma and rhinitis in children.
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