In 25 patients with mite nasal allergy and 13 healthy control subjects, levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and histamine in nasal secretions were examined before and after challenge with mite extract. The ECP level was found to be significantly higher in the washings taken 30 minutes after challenge compared with the washings taken before challenge (P <.05). ECP levels measured both before and after mite extract challenge were found to be significantly higher in the patients than in the controls (P <.01). These facts suggest than the ECP affects the nasal mucosa by causing injury to ciliated cells and by acceleration of the processes of modification and inhibition of the allergic reaction.
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