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Friday 01 October 2004

Alveolar and airway sites of nitric oxide inflammation in treated asthma.

By: Gelb AF, Taylor CF, Nussbaum E, Gutierrez C, Schein A, Shinar CM, Schein MJ, Epstein JD, Zamel N.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004 Oct 1;170(7):737-41

The goal of this study was to identify airway and alveolar site(s) of inflammation using exhaled nitric oxide (NO) as a marker in treated patients with asthma, including response to oral corticosteroids, and correlate these sites with expiratory airflow limitation. In 53 (24 male) patients with asthma, age 43 +/- 23 years (mean +/- SD) and all on inhaled corticosteroids, post 180 microg aerosolized albuterol, FEV(1) was 74 +/- 23% predicted and FEV(1)/FVC was 68 +/- 11%. Exhaled NO at 100 ml/second was 27 +/- 23 ppb (p < 0.001 compared with normal, 12 +/- 15 ppb). Bronchial NO maximal flux was 2.4 +/- 3.1 nl/second (p < 0.001 compared with normal, 0.85 +/- 0.55). Alveolar NO concentration was 7.0 +/- 7.4 ppb (p = 0.01 compared with the normal value, 3.2 +/- 2.0 ppb). There was no significant correlation between FEV(1) % predicted or lung elastic recoil and NO bronchial flux or alveolar concentration. However, there was a weak but significant correlation between NO bronchial flux and alveolar concentration (Spearman r = 0.50, p < 0.001). In 10 subjects with asthma on inhaled corticosteroids, 5 days of 30 mg prednisone resulted in isolated significant decreases in NO alveolar concentration, from 13 +/- 10 to 4 +/- 4 ppb (p = 0.002). Despite treatment, including inhaled corticosteroids, patients with asthma may have ongoing separate airway and alveolar sites of NO inflammation, the latter responsive to oral corticosteroids.

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