Orally exhaled nitric oxide levels are related to the degree of blood eosinophilia in atopic children with mild-intermittent asthma

M. Silvestri, D. Spallarossa, V. Frangova Yourukova, E. Battistini, B. Fregonese, G. A. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increased levels of nitric oxide have been found in expired air of patients with asthma, and these are thought to be related to the airway inflammatory events that characterize this disorder. Since, in adults, bronchial inflammatory changes are present even in mild disease, the present study was designed to evaluate whether a significant proportion of children with mild-intermittent asthma could have increased exhaled air NO concentrations. Twenty-two atopic children (aged 11.1±0.8 yrs) with mild- intermittent asthma, treated only with inhaled β2-adrenoreceptor agonists on demand and 22 age-matched controls were studied. NO concentrations in orally exhaled air, measured by chemiluminescence, were significantly higher in asthmatics, as compared to controls (19.4±3.3 parts per billion (ppb) and 4.0±0.5 ppb, respectively; p8.8 ppb (i.e. >2 standard deviations of the mean in controls). In asthmatic patients, but not in control subjects, statistically significant correlations were found between exhaled NO levels and absolute number or percentage of blood eosinophils (r=0.63 and 0.56, respectively; p1) or forced expiratory flows at 25-75% of vital capacity (FEF(25-75%)) or forced vital capacity (FVC), either in control subjects, or in asthmatic patients (p>0.1, each correlation). These results suggest that a significant proportion of children with mild-intermittent asthma may have airway inflammation, as shown by the presence of elevated levels of nitric oxide in the exhaled air. The clinical relevance of this observation remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Allergy
  • Childhood
  • Mild-intermittent asthma
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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