METHOD: The scientific information on COVID-19 was analysed by a literature search in MEDLINE, PubMed, the National and International Guidelines from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the Cochrane Library, and the internet.
RESULTS: Based on the diagnostic and treatment standards developed by EAACI, on international information regarding COVID-19, on guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations, and on previous experience, a panel of experts including clinicians, psychologists, IT experts, and basic scientists along with EAACI and the "Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA)" initiative have developed recommendations for the optimal management of allergy clinics during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations are grouped into nine sections on different relevant aspects for the care of patients with allergies.
CONCLUSIONS: This international Position Paper provides recommendations on operational plans and procedures to maintain high standards in the daily clinical care of allergic patients while ensuring the necessary safety measures in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: A cross-sectional diagnostic study was performed on patients who had undergone nasal endoscopy and allergy testing. Allergy status was determined by positive serology or epicutaneous testing. Endoscopy was reviewed by blinded assessors for middle turbinate head edema. Appearance was graded as either normal, focal, multifocal, diffuse, or polypoid edema. Receiver-operator (ROC) analysis, likelihood ratio (LR), sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were determined.
RESULTS: One hundred eighty-seven patients representing 304 nasal cavities were assessed (42% female, age 39.74 ± 14.7 years, 57% allergic). Diffuse edema (PPV 91.7%/LR = 8) and polypoid edema (PPV 88.9%/LR = 6.2) demonstrated the strongest association with inhalant allergy. Multifocal edema was used as a cut-off to represent inhalant allergy from ROC analysis, which demonstrated 94.7% specificity and 23.4% sensitivity. The PPV for multifocal was 85.1% and LR = 4.4.
CONCLUSION: Middle turbinate edema is a useful nasal endoscopic feature to predict presence of inhalant allergy and, although not sensitive, has excellent PPV.