Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2003 Oct;14(5):401-4
University Children Hospital, Freiburg, Germany.
Recently, we were able to demonstrate that Omalizumab, a humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, reduces in vitro leukotriene (LT) release of peripheral leukocytes stimulated with allergen in children with allergic rhinitis undergoing allergen immunotherapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of anti-IgE in combination with specific immunotherapy (SIT) on urinary leukotriene E4 (LTE4) levels. Children and adolescents with sensitization to birch and grass pollens and suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis were included in a phase III, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical study. Within the four-arm study, patients were randomized to receive SIT for either birch or grass pollen and to receive either subcutaneous anti-IgE or placebo for 24 weeks during the pollen season. From a total population of 225 children, we collected three urine samples in a subgroup of 19 children [n = 12 boys (63%); mean age 11.8 years; range 7.2-17.5 years; Group A (n = 10): SIT (grass or birch) + anti-IgE; Group B (n = 9): SIT (grass or birch) + placebo]. Urine samples were collected before, during and at the end of treatment. Endogenous urinary LTE4 was separated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and determined by enzyme immunoassay with a specific antibody. No differences in urinary LTE4 concentrations were observed between the anti-IgE and the placebo groups before (A: 35.2; B: 36.5 nmol/mol creatinine), during (A: 27.0; B: 29.3) and after treatment (A: 28.9; B: 26.5 nmol/mol creatinine). We conclude that urinary LTE4 levels are not helpful in monitoring patients treated with anti-IgE and SIT.