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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intractable sneezing due to IgE-mediated triethanolamine sensitivity.

Sneezing has been commonly recognized as part of the nasal allergic reaction in response to pollen and inhalant allergens; isolated intractable sneezing is an unusual presentation in allergic patients. An 8-yr-old white girl developed intractable sneezing in the fall while walking past an area where fresh roofing tar was being prepared. Her personal and family histories were negative for allergic disease or symptoms. Positive physical findings were boggy nasal mucosa; pollen and inhalant skin tests were negative. Response to topical cromolyn and beclomethasone administered intranasally was only partial; antihistamines were little help. Upon careful review of history, exposure to clothes washed in Miracle White Laundry Soil and Stain Remover correlated to symptoms; removal from clothing by extensive washing relieved the sneezing, which recurred upon exposure. Prick test was positive to triethanolamine at 10(7)M to 10(-4)M and not to other ingredients of this product. Investigation demonstrated dose-dependent leukocyte histamine release (25% to 27% specific release) to triethanolamine (10(-4)M to 10(-7)M); this release (50% at 10(-5)M) was inhibited by preincubation with cromolyn sodium (5 X 10(-6)M). Passive cutaneous anaphylaxis was demonstrated to triethanolamine (10(-7)M to 10(-4)M); specific IgE to triethanolamine was demonstrated by polystyrene tube radioimmunoassay. Controls had no histamine release or specific IgE. Thus exposure to triethanolamine caused IgE-mediated intractable sneezing.[1]


  1. Intractable sneezing due to IgE-mediated triethanolamine sensitivity. Herman, J.J. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (1983) [Pubmed]
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