Efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy with grass allergens for seasonal allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background: The benefit of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) with grass allergens for seasonal allergic rhinitis has beenextensively studied, but data on efficacy are still equivocal.Objective: To assess the effectiveness of SLIT with grass allergens in the reduction of symptoms and medication in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis to grass pollen.Methods: Computerized bibliographic searches of MEDLINE (1995-2010) were supplemented by hand searches of reference lists. Studies were included if they were double-blindrandomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing SLIT to placebo and if they included patients with history of allergy to grass pollen treated with natural grass pollen extracts. Nineteen RCTs with 2971 patients were analyzed. The outcomes assessed were symptom and medication scores.Results: Using a random-effects model, SLIT with grass allergens significantly reduces both symptoms (standardized mean difference, –0.32; 95% CI, –0.44 to –0.21) and medication use (standardized mean difference, –0.33; 95% CI, –0.50 to –0.16) compared with placebo. The treatment is more efficacious inadults than in children. Prolonging duration of preseasonal treatment for more than 12 weeks improves the treatment efficacy.Conclusion: This meta-analysis found that SLIT with grass allergens is effective in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitiscompared with placebo. The benefit is clinically modest, and criteria are needed to identify patients most likely to benefitfrom SLIT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume126
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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