Allergic Rhinitis affects approximately 20% of individuals in Australia and the U.S. and can significantly impact quality of life. A congested nose is often one of the main presenting complaints. Specific immunotherapy has been shown to be beneficial in switching off the allergic drive and improving patient’s symptoms. However, compliance rates are variable and immunotherapy is often ceased prematurely
A case-control study of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) patients at a tertiary Rhinologic clinic was performed. Patients were selected for SLIT using epicutaneous testing to confirm a clinically relevant antigen. Patients were considered to have had turbinate surgery if performed during the 3 years prior to commencing SLIT. Any turbinate procedure (turbinoplasty, resection or diathermy) was included. Non-compliance with SLIT was defined as active cessation of therapy or failure to reorder within the last 12 months. Groups were compared using Chi-squared analysis.
Results: One hundred and nine patients (42.2% female, 27.87±13.74yrs) were assessed. 41.3% of patients did not complete a minimum of 36mths. Prior turbinate surgery was noted in 35% of SLIT patients. SLIT patients who had undergone turbinate surgery were more likely to be males (71.4% v 48.1%, p=0.045) but were of similar age (29.59±11.05yrs v 27.73±14.45, p=0.56). The difference in dropouts favoured prior turbinate surgery (50% v 28.8%, p=0.07) but was not statistically significant.
In a population of patients undergoing SLIT, men were more likely to have had prior turbinate surgery. The influence of turbinate surgery on SLIT compliance should be further investigated.