Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology

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ISSN / EISSN : 1710-1492 / 1710-1492
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, Amin Kanani, Gina Lacuesta, Christine Song, Manstein Kan, Stephen D. Betschel
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-7; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00579-6

Abstract:
Background Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disease resulting in recurring episodes of swelling, leading to considerable patient morbidity and mortality. Lanadelumab is a plasma kallikrein inhibitor that is approved as 1st line therapy in Canada for long term prophylaxis of HAE attacks. Objective To describe our clinical findings from a case series of adult patients with HAE type 1/2 who have been initiated on lanadelumab. Methods A chart review of HAE type 1/2 patients at three academic centers in Canada was undertaken with demographic and clinical data extracted. Patients were included if they had been receiving lanadelumab for at least 6 months. Patients with other causes of angioedema were excluded. Results 12 patients meeting enrollment criteria were identified. Compared to pre-lanadelumab, patients had mean reductions of 72% and 62% in attack rate and treated attack rate respectively. 3 patients reported complete remission from attacks after starting lanadelumab. Most patients had significant improvements in HAE impact on social outings. Conclusion Our case series findings support the 2019 International/Canadian HAE guideline that lanadelumab is an effective therapy for long term prophylaxis. In our patient population, initiation of lanadelumab improved disease control, minimized the burden of treatment and improved HAE impact on social outings.
, Sebastien La Vieille, Scott B. Cameron, Raymond Mak, Victoria E. Cook, Jennifer Gerdts, Edmond S. Chan
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-6; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00573-y

Abstract:
Most Canadian food allergy data has focused on Health Canada’s priority food allergens. This study describes which non-priority (emerging) food allergens were most commonly reported by Canadian parents and categorized/confirmed by allergists. A secondary aim was to describe severity of allergic reactions to emerging allergens. Parents reported allergic reactions to emerging food allergens experienced by their child (< 18 years) which occurred in the past 12 months, and allergists categorized/confirmed them according to likelihood of IgE-mediated food allergy. Of 68 eligible patients completing the survey, the most commonly reported emerging allergens were fruits/vegetables (58.8%), seeds (22.1%), legumes (19.1%) and other (11.8%). Median allergist ranking for legumes was ‘probable’ IgE-mediated food allergy, ‘possible’ for seeds and fruits/vegetables, and ‘unlikely’ for other. Median reaction severity was mild for legumes, and moderate for seeds, fruits/vegetables, and other. Our study highlights that non-priority food allergens, namely legumes and seeds, can lead to probable/likely allergic reactions in Canadian children. These food allergens are increasing in popularity in the Canadian diet, which could lead to increasing reports of allergic reactions. More research is needed to confirm reports of reactions to emerging allergens, and to document their inclusion as ingredients in packaged foods.
Hitomi Amano, Yoshiro Kitagawa, Tomohito Hayakawa, Taichiro Muto, Akihisa Okumura,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-4; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00570-1

Abstract:
Background Glucocorticoids rarely cause anaphylaxis. Common methods for the determination of allergens include in vivo skin prick test (SPT) and intradermal skin test (IDST) and the in vitro basophil activation test (BAT). However, to our knowledge, the best strategy for diagnosing glucocorticoid-induced anaphylaxis has not been elucidated. Case presentation A 10-year-old boy was admitted to our hospital because of 2 weeks of fever and arthralgia. He had not been treated with glucocorticoids before, including methylprednisolone (mPSL). He was suspected to have bacterial myositis and was treated with ceftriaxone. However, his symptoms persisted for > 2 weeks. Autoinflammatory arthritis was suspected, and he was treated with mPSL sodium succinate (MPS) pulse therapy (30 mg/kg). After 15 min of mPSL injection, he had wheezing and generalized wheal formation with decreased oxygen saturation. As anaphylaxis was suspected, mPSL was discontinued, and olopatadine and oxygen were administered. The symptoms improved considerably without the use of epinephrine and disappeared in 30 min. One month after discharge, SPT, IDST, and BAT were performed without discontinuing his prescribed oral prednisolone. SPTs for MPS, hydrocortisone sodium succinate (HCS), prednisolone sodium succinate (PSS), dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DSP), and betamethasone sodium phosphate (BSP) were negative. IDSTs for MPS, HCS, and PSS were positive, whereas those for DSP and BSP were negative. By contrast, BATs for MPS, HCS, and PSS were negative. Although glucocorticoid-induced hypersensitivity caused by nonmedicinal ingredients such as lactose, carboxymethylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, and hexylene glycol has been reported; the glucocorticoids tested in this patient did not contain any of these nonmedicinal ingredients. As the glucocorticoids that were positive on IDST share a succinate ester, this might have caused MPS-induced anaphylaxis. Conclusions We report the case of MPS-induced anaphylaxis diagnosed by IDST but not BAT. In case reports of glucocorticoid-induced anaphylaxis in the literature, most patients were diagnosed with SPT or IDST. These results suggest that BAT should be considered when IDST and SPT are negative. Further studies are necessary to clarify the best strategy for diagnosing glucocorticoid-induced anaphylaxis.
Serife Uzun, Zixi Wang, Tory A. McKnight, Paul Ehrlich, Erin Thanik, Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, Nan Yang,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-4; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00555-0

Abstract:
Rationale We recently showed that multicomponent traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy had steroid-sparing effects in moderate-to-severe eczema. We sought to evaluate TCM effects in severe eczema in a 7-year-old male with refractory disease and corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome. Methods Prior to referral, the patient had been treated since infancy with increasingly intensive standard of care, including high-dose topical and systemic corticosteroid and antibiotic therapy and was unable to tolerate further steroid treatment. The patient was administered a combination of oral and topical TCM for 17 months following discontinuation of his steroid regimen. His overall medical condition was assessed by SCORAD criteria and laboratory evaluations of serum IgE, absolute eosinophil count, and liver and kidney function tests. Results The patient showed rapid improvement of clinical measures of disease after starting TCM therapy, with marked improvement of sleep quality within the first week, complete resolution of itching, oozing, and erythema at 2 weeks, and a 79% and 99% decrease in his SCORAD values after one month and 3–6 months of TCM, respectively. Serum total IgE decreased by 75% (from 19,000 to 4630 (kIU/L), and absolute eosinophil counts decreased by 60% (from 1000 to 427 cells/μL) after 12 months of treatment. The patient did not require oral or topical steroids during the 17-month trial of TCM. TCM was tapered without complications. His dermatologic manifestations continued to be well-controlled 3 months after discontinuation. Conclusion This case study suggests TCM should be further evaluated in controlled clinical studies of patients with severe, refractory eczema and steroid withdrawal syndrome.
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-9; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00565-y

Abstract:
Background A cost-minimization analysis (CMA) was performed to evaluate the economic implications of introducing the SQ Tree sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)-tablets marketed as ITULATEK® (Health Canada regulatory approval in April 2020) for the treatment of pollen-induced (birch, alder and/or hazel) seasonal allergic rhinitis in Canada (Ontario and Quebec), where Tree Pollen subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is already an available treatment option. Methods A CMA was deemed appropriate and was based on the assumption that the SQ Tree SLIT-tablets have comparable efficacy to Tree Pollen SCIT. A societal perspective was adopted in the model, including relevant costs of medications, costs of health care services, and productivity losses. The time horizon in the model was three years, which corresponds to a minimal treatment course of allergy immunotherapy. Resource use and costs were based on published sources, where available, and validated by Canadian specialist clinicians (allergists) in active practice in Ontario and in Quebec, where applicable. A discount rate of 1.5% was applied in accordance with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) guidelines. To assess the robustness of the results, scenario analyses were performed by testing alternative assumptions for selected parameters (e.g., Tree Pollen SCIT resource use, discount rates, number of injections, annual SCIT dosing with maintenance injections, and nurse time support), to evaluate their impact on the results of the analysis. Results The direct costs, including the drug costs, and physician services costs, for three years of treatment, were similar for both SQ Tree SLIT-tablets vs. Tree Pollen SCIT in both Ontario and Quebec ($2799.01 and $2838.70 vs. $2233.76 and $2266.05 respectively). However, when the indirect costs (including patient’s travel expenses and lost working hours) are included in the model, total savings for the treatment with SQ Tree SLIT-tablets of $1111.79 for Ontario and $1199.87 for Quebec were observed. Scenario analyses were conducted and showed that changes in assumptions continue to result in the savings of SQ Tree SLIT- tablets over Tree Pollen SCIT. Conclusions The CMA indicates that SQ Tree SLIT-tablets are a cost-minimizing alternative to Tree Pollen SCIT when considered from a societal perspective in Ontario and Quebec.
Adam Aue, Joella Ho, Rongbo Zhu, Harold Kim,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00566-x

Abstract:
Background Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is an effective treatment for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. However, adverse events, including life-threatening systemic reactions, may occur. The purpose of this project is to identify risk factors for systemic reactions to SCIT and to provide practice-based solutions using a quality improvement (QI) framework. Methods A QI initiative was performed in a hospital-based, Canadian Allergy clinic administering SCIT in a 12-month period. Results A total of 4242 injections of SCIT were performed over a period of 12 months. Of these, 10 injections resulted in a systemic reaction requiring epinephrine administration (i.e., an incidence of 1 in 424 injections, or 0.24%). Eight patients had at least one documented risk factor for a systemic reaction, and six had multiple risk factors. Major risk factors included seasonal exacerbation of allergic rhinitis, uncontrolled asthma, and an error in route of administration. All reactions occurred with the highest allergen extract concentration. Conclusion This QI initiative highlights the need for improved patient and health care practitioner education and pre-administration screening. We suggest several considerations for SCIT administration: provide patients with written information on safety; screen patients before injections, including a review of treatment plan adherence and asthma control; adjust dosing to slow down buildup of the most concentrated immunotherapy extract, particularly in high risk patients; and apply additional safety measures in patients with multiple risk factors.
Dandan Chen, Yu Zhang, Can Yao, Binbin Li, SiNian Li, Wenwen Liu, ,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-8; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00568-9

Abstract:
Background Differences between adult patients with severe early-onset and late-onset asthma have not been well studied. Objectives To determine the phenotypic distinction regarding age at onset in patients with severe asthma. Methods The present study enrolled thirty-two patients with severe early-onset (onset age < 12 years) asthma and thirty-two patients with severe late-onset (onset age > 12 years) asthma. Severe asthma was defined according to Global Initiative for Asthma criteria. The clinical, spirometric, and laboratory parameters were collected for group comparisons. Results Among the 64 patients included (mean age, 46.22 ± 13.90 years; 53.1% male), the mean percent of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was 68.43 ± 20.55%. Patients with severe early-onset asthma had a younger age, longer duration of asthma, higher rate of family history, and better small-airway function (MEF25% and MMEF75/25%) compared with severe late-onset asthma. Furthermore, levels of serum IL-17 and sputum neutrophil percentage were significantly higher for patients with severe early-onset asthma (P = 0.016, 0.033, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased serum IL-17 (odds ratio = 1.065, P = 0.016) was independently associated with severe early-onset asthma. The combination of serum IL-17 and sputum neutrophil percentage yielded a sensitivity of 80.0% and a specificity of 86.7% for identifying patients with severe early-onset asthma. Conclusions Patients with severe early-onset asthma exhibit elevated levels of serum IL-17 and sputum neutrophil percentage, suggesting a potential role in the pathogenesis of severe early-onset phenotype.
Melanie Kjarsgaard, Adil Adatia, Anurag Bhalla, Nicola LaVigne, Katherine Radford, Chynna Huang, Manali Mukherjee,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-7; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00567-w

Abstract:
Rationale On Wright-stained sputum cytospins, eosinophil differential of ≥ 1.2% is considered abnormal, and ≥ 2.3% identifies an eosinophilic endotype. We hypothesized that failure to consider free eosinophil granules (FEG), and the re-emergence (unmasking) of eosinophilia due to various reasons underestimate the prevalence of the eosinophilic endotype. Methods This is a retrospective analysis of our Institutional Review Board-approved clinical sputum database. Of the 24,176 examinations of sputa from patients with various airway diseases, 17,693 were viable cell counts from 9570 patients (6604 on a single occasion, 2967 from multiple occasions). The prevalence of intact eosinophil % at 1.2 and 2.3% thresholds was first examined. Then, additional evidence of eosinophilia was assessed by semi-quantitative enumeration of FEGs. In those patients whose sputa were examined on multiple occasions (at the time of an exacerbation or after corticosteroid dose was reduced), re-emergence (unmasking) of eosinophilia was assessed . Results Using the threshold of eosinophilia ≥ 1.2%, 6289/17693 (35.6%) of sputa were classified as eosinophilic. This increased to 7850/17693 (44.4%) when the presence of FEGs was considered. Using the threshold of eosinophilia ≥ 2.3%, 4647/17693 (26.3%) of sputa were classified as eosinophilic. This increased to 5435/17693 (30.7%) when the presence of FEG were considered. Extrapolating from the prevalence of re-emergence observed in the 2967 patients who had sputa examined on multiple occasions to the whole sample, we estimated that eosinophilia at 1.2% threshold would be observed in at least 60% of the samples, and a clinically relevant eosinophilia at 2.3% threshold would be observed in at least 48.5% of the samples. Conclusions Using a large sputum cytometry clinical database (17,693 viable cell counts), we demonstrate that a single time point intact cell count underestimates the prevalence of eosinophilia in a variety of airway diseases. The prevalence of eosinophilia increases from 35.6 to 60% (40% underestimation) at the 1.2% threshold, and from 26.3 to 48.5% (45% underestimation) at the 2.3% clinically relevant threshold, when free granules and a second examination are considered. This has important implications to identify the eosinophilic and Th2 high endotype both for clinical trials of anti-eosinophil therapies, and to select patients who may respond well to glucocorticosteroids and anti-IL5 therapies.
Yan Feng, Ya-Ping Meng, Ying-Ying Dong, Chang-Yu Qiu,
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-12; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00564-z

Abstract:
Background Inconsistencies remain regarding the effectiveness and safety of leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) and selective H1-antihistamines (SAHs) for allergic rhinitis (AR). A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to compare the medications. Methods Relevant head-to-head comparative RCTs were retrieved by searching the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane’s Library databases from inception to April 20, 2020. A random-effects model was applied to pool the results. Subgroup analyses were performed for seasonal and perennial AR. Results Fourteen RCTs comprising 4458 patients were included. LTRAs were inferior to SAHs in terms of the daytime nasal symptoms score (mean difference [MD]: 0.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.02 to 0.08, p = 0.003, I 2 = 89%) and daytime eye symptoms score (MD: 0.05, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.08, p = 0.009, I 2 = 89%), but were superior in terms of the nighttime symptoms score (MD: − 0.04, 95% CI − 0.06 to − 0.02, p < 0.001, I 2 = 85%). The effects of the two treatments on the composite symptom score (MD: 0.02, 95% CI − 0.02 to 0.05, p = 0.30, I 2 = 91%) and rhinoconjunctivitis quality-of-life questionnaire (RQLQ) (MD: 0.01, 95% CI − 0.05 to 0.07, p = 0.71, I 2 = 99%) were similar. Incidences of adverse events were comparable (odds ratio [OR]: 0.97, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.25, p = 0.98, I 2 = 0%). These results were mainly obtained from studies on seasonal AR. No significant publication bias was detected. Conclusions Although both treatments are safe and effective in improving the quality of life (QoL) in AR patients, LTRAs are more effective in improving nighttime symptoms but less effective in improving daytime nasal symptoms compared to SAHs.
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Volume 17, pp 1-8; doi:10.1186/s13223-021-00563-0

Abstract:
Background Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare but serious disorder associated with a multifaceted burden of illness including a high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Despite recent efforts to clarify the psychosocial implications of HAE, important gaps still remain. The aim of this study was to characterize the psychosocial burden associated with HAE types 1 and 2. Methods Type 1 or 2 HAE patients (n = 17), aged 19 years or older, completed the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21) and the DSM-5 cross cutting measures to identify psychiatric symptomatology, Angioedema Quality of Life Questionnaire (AE-QoL) and the Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey version 2 (SF-36v2) to assess disease-related and generic HRQoL respectively, and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI) to measure impact on work productivity and daily activities. Data analyses were conducted using SPSS statistical software (Version 25.0; IBM, Armonk, NY). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize continuous demographics and clinical characteristics and outcomes of interest while frequency distributions were used for categorical variables. T tests were used to compare SF-36v2 domain scores to Canadian norms and sex differences in scale scores. Results Depression [DASS-21 score = 6.8 ± 10.2; n = 12 (71%)] anxiety [DASS-21 score = 6.2 ± 8.2; n = 13 (76%)] and stress [DASS-21 score = 10 ± 10.2; n = 13 (76%)] were prevalent. Other psychiatric symptoms warranting inquiry included mania (n = 14, 82.4%), anger (n = 14, 82.4%), sleep disturbances (n = 13, 76.5%), somatic symptoms (n = 11, 64.7%) and impaired personality functioning (n = 9, 52.9%). Mean AE-QoL score was 39 ± 18.2. Mean SF-36v2 domain scores were significantly lower than Canadian normative data for the entire sample (p < 0.05). Impairment in work productivity was minimal; mean activity impairment was 20.6% ± 21.1% [n = 11 (64.7%)]. Female participants reported significantly greater HAE-related stress [DASS; t(15) = − 2.2, p = 0.04], greater HAE-related fears [AEQoL; t(5.6) = − 2.7, p = 0.04), and lower SF-36v2 domain scores than male patients. Conclusions Study findings offer specific, valuable insight into the psychosocial burden of HAE with the potential to improve clinical management of HAE. Best practices for effective management of HAE should include providing holistic care to address the psychosocial and mental health of HAE patients.
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