BACKGROUND--The role of nitric oxide in the early and late phase of the allergic process was investigated in patients with allergic rhinitis against house dust mite and the effect of fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray was determined. METHODS--Production of nitric oxide (measured as nitrite+nitrate) in vivo in nasal mucosa was examined in 24 patients with rhinitis allergic to the house dust mite. In a double blind placebo controlled crossover study fluticasone propionate 200 micrograms aqueous nasal spray was administered twice daily for two weeks. In response to provocation with house dust mite extract (after four basal nasal lavages) nasal lavages were performed every hour for 9.5 hours by washing the nose with saline. In addition, a similar lavage protocol was performed in healthy volunteers with or without challenge with phosphate buffered saline. RESULTS--Nitric oxide is present in nasal lavage fluid in detectable amounts (range 10-50 microM), the level gradually increasing with time in both patients and controls after a decrease during the four basal lavages. Treatment with fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray did not affect initial basal production of nitric oxide nor production following provocation with house dust mite extract. CONCLUSIONS--Production of nitric oxide in nasal mucosa determined in sequential nasal washings is not affected by therapeutic doses of intranasal steroids.
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