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Occupational rhinitis: consensus on diagnosis and medicolegal implications

Moscato, Giannaa; Rolla, Giovannib; Siracusa, Andreac

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: February 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 36–42
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e328341e228
Nose and paranasal sinuses: Edited by Anshul Sama

Purpose of review Work-related rhinitis is a common disease in many working groups, frequently associated with asthma. The purpose of this review is to summarize the specific literature published within the past 12 months, to discuss the diagnostic workup and to illustrate the medicolegal aspects pertaining to this disease.

Recent findings Recently, there has been a growing scientific interest in work-related rhinitis, which includes both occupational rhinitis and work-exacerbated rhinitis. The epidemiological relevance and the relationships to asthma have been evaluated. New etiologic agents and populations at risk have been identified. A new definition and classification, and a diagnostic algorithm, have been proposed.

Summary In consideration of the epidemiological relevance and of the medicolegal implications, occupational rhinitis should be considered in daily clinical practice by all physicians. In adults with late-onset rhinitis, occupational causes should be queried and patients in whom an occupational association is suspected should be referred for specific assessments.

aAllergy and Immunology Unit, Fondazione ‘Salvatore Maugeri’, Institute of Research and Care, Scientific Institute of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

bAllergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Torino and AO Ordine Mauriziano of Torino, Torino, Italy

cOccupational Medicine, Terni Hospital, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Correspondence to Giovanni Rolla, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Torino and AO Ordine Mauriziano, Largo Turati 62, 10128 Torino, Italy Tel: +39 0115082926; fax: +39 0115682588; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.