Allergy Asthma Respir Dis.  2020 Jan;8(1):20-29. 10.4168/aard.2020.8.1.20.

Clinical characteristics of allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis in Korean children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Medical College, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Allergy Immunology Center, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Environmental Health Center, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Recently, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis (AR) in Korean children has been increased. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of rhinitis and to compare clinical parameters between AR and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) in children.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 1,034 children under 18 years of age who visited Korea University Anam Hospital for rhinitis symptoms from January 2008 to December 2017. Clinical data, including clinical features, comorbidities, blood test results, allergen sensitization profile, and pulmonary function test parameters, were collected.
Among the 1,034 children with rhinitis, 737 (71.3%) were AR and 297 (28.7%) were NAR. The prevalence of AR gradually increased with age. The median levels of eosinophil count (4.1%), serum total IgE (204.4 IU/L), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) concentration (17.9 µg/L), and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) (22.0 ppb) were significantly higher in children with AR than in those with NAR. The sensitization rate to the inhalant allergens increased with age; however, food allergen sensitization rate tended to decrease. Median levels of eosinophil count, total IgE, ECP, and FeNO were significantly higher in the poly-sensitized group than in the mono-sensitized and nonsensitized groups.
More than 70% of Korean children who have rhinitis symptoms are AR. Children with AR more likely to have higher levels of FeNO and bronchial asthma. Poly-sensitized children showed increased rates of atopic dermatitis and bronchial asthma.


Allergic rhinitis; Nonallergic rhinitis; Child
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