Methods: We analyzed the clinical files of 68 patients receiving dialyzable leukocyte extracts as adjuvant treatment for moderate to severe allergic rhinitis in the period between 2009 and 2013, at our immunology department. All patients receiving DLE signed an informed consent as part of a running protocol (IC-12-001) authorized by the ethics committee and health department. Patients had different standard treatments for allergic rhinitis, such as antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, leukotriene inhibitors and immunotherapy in varying combinations. Oral DLE was added to standard treatment in patients that remained symptomatic. The initial DLE dose varied between 1 and 2 Units (5mL/Unit) per week.
Results: 28 (53.8%) female and 24 (46.2%) male patients ages 0-64 with a mean age of 17.3±17.5yrs with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis added DLE to their treatment. After 1 to 5 months, 52 (76.5%) reported improved symptoms, 11 (16.2%) abandoned treatment, 5 (7.4%) reported no improvement. No patients presented severe adverse effects. Of the 52 patients who reported improvement, 6 (11.5%) were asymptomatic, 32 (61.5%) mentioned general improvement of symptoms, 4 (7.7%) reported only decreased nasal congestion, 13 (25%) reported less frequent upper respiratory infections. 2 patients (3.8%) with concomitant asthma suspended the use of bronchodilators.
Conclusions: DLE may be beneficial as adjuvant treatment for allergic rhinitis. Although patient self-reported improvement is subjective, this study lays the ground for more objective measurements of drug response in the future. Interestingly, it helped decrease the use of bronchodilators in 2 cases with concomitant asthma.