Clinical application of nasal nitric oxide measurement in allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

P. Ambrosino, P. Parrella, R. Formisano, A. Papa, G.A. Spedicato, M.N.D. Di Minno, A. Motta, M. Maniscalco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nasal nitric oxide (nNO) is considered a biomarker of nasal inflammation. Objective: To perform a systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regressions on the association between nNO levels and allergic rhinitis (AR). Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and EMBASE databases were systematically searched. Differences between cases and controls were expressed as standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Overall, 39 articles were included: 30 containing data on nNO measured by nasal aspiration (1881 patients with AR and 1337 controls) and 12 assessing nNO by nasal exhalation (525 patients with AR and 350 controls). Compared with controls, AR presented significantly higher nNO values both during nasal aspiration (SMD, 1.309; 95% CI, 0.841-1.777; P < .001) and nasal exhalation (SMD, 0.708; 95% CI, 0.303-1.114; P = .001). Sensitivity and subgroup analyses confirmed that the results for the evaluated outcomes were not affected by the presence of clinical confounding factors (asthma, nasal polyps, inhaled corticosteroids, smoking history), this being valid for both perennial and seasonal diseases during exposure to allergens. For the aspiration method, meta-regressions indicated that older age and a better pulmonary function were associated with a lower difference in nNO levels between patients with AR and controls, whereas an increasing aspiration flow was associated with a high effect size. Conclusion: nNO levels are higher in AR, particularly when using high aspiration flows and in younger patients, who often perceive this condition as a source of disability. Further studies are needed to evaluate the usefulness of this biomarker for monitoring airway disorders and optimizing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-459.e5
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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