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Wednesday 01 December 1999

Immunohistochemically stained activated eosinophils in sputum in patients with asthma.

By: Jang AS, Choi IS, Park CS.

Respiration 2000;67(2):183-8

BACKGROUND: Eosinophils play an important role in asthmatic airway inflammation. Monoclonal antibody EG2 has been considered to identify activated eosinophils. OBJECTIVE: The present study was aimed to investigate whether immunohistochemically stained EG2+ eosinophils in sputum reflect the severity of asthma. METHODS: Sputum was obtained in 23 asthmatic patients, of whom 13 patients were examined before and after antiasthma treatment including steroid preparations. We used immunohistochemical staining to detect EG2+ (activation marker) eosinophils and fluoroimmunoassay to detect eosinophil cationic protein (ECP). RESULTS: Moderate to severe asthmatics had a significantly higher proportion of eosinophils and EG2+ eosinophils and higher levels of ECP compared to mild asthmatics (40.9 +/- 5.8 vs. 6.4 +/- 1.2%, 35.5 +/- 5.6 vs. 2.7 +/- 1.0%, 1.470.2 +/- 251.5 vs. 210.6 +/- 52.0 microgram/l, respectively; p < 0.01). Significant increases in proportions of eosinophils, EG2+ eosinophils and ECP in the sputum from patients with exacerbated asthma were evident. The proportions of eosinophils, EG2+ eosinophils, and the levels of ECP were reduced following treatment with antiasthmatic drugs. FEV(1) and FEV(1)/FVC were significantly correlated with EG2+ eosinophils. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that EG2+ eosinophils in sputum are closely related to the clinical status in patients with asthma. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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