ABSTRACT Background: Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory disorder of the upper airways. Although several oxidants and antioxidants are likely to be involved, alterations in only limited parameters have been studied. Objective: In this study an attempt has been made to study the oxidant-antioxidant imbalance by investigating changes in a wide range of oxidants and antioxidants in the blood. Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 39 chronic allergic rhinitis patients (males 24, females 15), aged 20-70 (mean age 36.33 ± 2.03) years and 53 individuals (36 males, 17 females); aged 24 to 64 (mean age 45.42 ± 1.36) years. Duration of allergic rhinitis was 1.77 ± 0.237 years. In the study group, nasal symptoms were scored and the results were recorded. The patients were classified as having perennial Allergic rhinitis (PAR) if they had had at least 2 rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, itching) for at least 6 months a year in the previous 2 years and if they had a positive skin prick test response to at least 1 clinically significant perennial allergen (e.g., house dust mites, molds, cockroach, cockroach excrement grass and tree pollen, cat and dog epithelia and molds, or animal dander). They had no other allergic diseases except persistent allergic rhinitis diagnosed by the physical and history examination. Erythrocyte lipid peroxidation, erythrocyte antioxidants viz., glutathione, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and plasma antioxidants viz., ceruloplasmin, glutathione-S-transferase, vitamin C, total antioxidant activity were estimated in the above two groups. Results: Erythrocyte lipid peroxidation (0 hour, p < 0.01) and superoxide dismutase (p < 0.01) were significantly higher, whereas plasma vitamin C (p < 0.001), ceruloplasmin (p < 0.05) and total antioxidant activity (p < 0.001) were significantly lower in chronic allergic rhinitis patients when compared to controls. Plasma Glutathione S transferase and erythrocyte catalase, glutathione, and glutathione reductase remained unchanged from normal subjects. Conclusion: The changes in different parameters indicate an imbalance in the oxidant and antioxidant status in chronic allergic rhinitis patients. Further studies are required to investigate the potential for antioxidant supplements to be used as routine therapy in chronic allergic rhinitis patients. Capsule summery: The study shows that the body is trying to cope for the oxidative stress by altering the enzyme levels. But external supplement may also be required as the total antioxidant levels are very much depleted.
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