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Concept: Bronchiole


The basic features of bronchial asthma are dyspnea with wheezing and objectively confirmed obstructive respiratory disorder reversible after inhalation of bronchodilators. In stable intermittent bronchial asthma, these features are not present; therefore confirmation of asthma consists of the presence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). In the present study, there were 902 bronchoprovocation tests performed for the verification of BHR. A significant criterium for BHR is a decrease of FEV(1) of 20% from the baseline level. Every test either positive or negative was finished with inhalation of four doses of salbutamol through a spacer. We obtained 675 bronchoprovocation tests negative and 227 positive. Among the 675 subjects with a negative test there were 49 subjects who after inhalation of salbutamol had an increase in FEV(1) of ≥20% above baseline. The bronchodilatatory response of these 49 subjects, makes one think about the so-called latent bronchospasm present already at baseline, limiting further constriction during bronchoprovocation tests. The detection of such latent bronchospasm in BHR increases the number of patients with an objectively confirmed bronchial asthma from 25.0% to 30.5%. Our results suggest that bronchodilation test be performed in all patients with suspected bronchial asthma to allow detecting latent bronchospasm as an initial stage of the disease.

Concepts: Asthma, Respiratory system, Obstructive lung disease, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator, Bronchial hyperresponsiveness, Bronchiolitis, Bronchospasm


This article focuses on recent data which highlight the clinical settings in which exhaled nitric oxide (F(E)NO) is potentially helpful, or not, as a clinical tool. It is becoming clearer that, selectively applied, F(E)NO measurements can provide reliable clinical guidance, particularly when values are low. Such values are associated with high negative predictive values (>90%). Increased F(E)NO levels are associated with much more modest positive predictive values (75%-85%) and these are less reliable. These general principles apply when diagnosing steroid responsiveness in relation to asthma, chronic cough, and COPD. Although randomised trials do not support routine use of exhaled NO measurements in uncomplicated bronchial asthma, there is evidence that in patients with difficult asthma, or asthma associated with pregnancy, F(E)NO enhances overall management, and the decision to commence or increase inhaled steroid therapy (yes/no) may be made more accurately. Exhaled NO is potentially relevant in the assessment of occupational asthma (serial measurements) and also in diagnosing bronchiolitis obliterans in lung transplant patients.

Concepts: Asthma, Cough, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Nitric oxide, Bronchiole, Bronchiolitis obliterans, Exhaled nitric oxide, Bronchodilator


Real-word evaluation studies have shown that many patients with asthma remain symptomatic despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). As conventional ICS have poor access to the peripheral airways, the aim of present study was to study the relationship between peripheral airway inflammation and clinical control in allergic asthma. Consequently, bronchial and transbronchial biopsies were obtained from poorly controlled asthmatics (n=12, Asthma Control Test (ACT) score <20), well-controlled asthmatics (n=12, ACT score ≥20) and healthy controls (n=8). Tissue sections were immunostained to assess multiple leukocyte populations. To determine the degree of T helper type 2 (Th2) immunity, the logarithmic value of the ratio between Th2 cells/mm2 and Th1 cells/mm2 was used as a surrogate score for Th2 skewed immunity. In the bronchi, the leukocyte infiltration pattern and the Th2-score were similar between well-controlled and poorly controlled asthmatics. In contrast, in the alveolar parenchyma the expression of T helper cells was significant higher in poorly controlled asthmatics compared to well-controlled asthmatics (p<0.01). Furthermore, the alveolar Th2-score was significantly higher in poorly controlled asthma (median 0.4) compared to the controlled patients (median -0.10, p<0.05). Additionally, in contrast to bronchial Th2-score, the alveolar Th2-score correlated significantly with ACT score (rs=-0.56, p<0.01) in the pooled asthma group. Collectively, our data reveal an alveolar Th2-skewed inflammation specifically in asthma patients that are poorly controlled with ICS and suggest that pharmacological targeting of the peripheral airways may be beneficial in this large patient category.

Concepts: AIDS, Immune system, White blood cell, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, T helper cell, Bronchiole


To determine the agents causing asthmatic reactions during specific inhalation challenges (SICs) in workers with cleaning-related asthma symptoms and to assess the pattern of bronchial responses in order to identify the mechanisms involved in cleaning-related asthma.

Concepts: Asthma, Bronchus, Bronchiole, Dust, Bronchodilator, Bronchiolitis, Bronchospasm


Owing to their side effects, administration of steroids for bronchial asthma attacks should be minimized. We investigated whether budesonide inhalation suspension (BIS) could replace intravenous steroid administration for the treatment of moderate bronchial asthma attacks.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Corticosteroid, Glucocorticoid, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator, Budesonide


Adequate symptom control is a problem for many people with asthma. We asked whether weekly email reports on monitored use of inhaled, short-acting bronchodilators might improve scores on composite asthma-control measures.

Concepts: Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Obstructive lung disease, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator


Overuse of short-acting bronchodilators is internationally recognised as a marker of poor asthma control, high healthcare use and increased risk of asthma death. Young adults with asthma commonly overuse short-acting bronchodilators. We sought to determine the reasons for overuse of bronchodilator inhalers in a sample of young adults with asthma.

Concepts: Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Obstructive lung disease, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator


Asthma affects 300 million people worldwide. In asthma, the major cause of morbidity and mortality is acute airway narrowing, due to airway smooth muscle (ASM) hypercontraction, associated with airway remodelling. However, little is known about the transcriptional differences between healthy and asthmatic ASM cells.

Concepts: Protein, Asthma, Chronic, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Smooth muscle, Obstructive lung disease, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator


BACKGROUND: The majority of the global population cannot afford existing asthma pharmacotherapy. Physical training as an airway anti-inflammatory therapy for asthma could potentially be a non-invasive, easily available, affordable, and healthy treatment modality. However, effects of physical training on airway inflammation in asthma are currently inconclusive. The main objective of this review is to summarize the effects of physical training on airway inflammation in asthmatics. METHODS: A peer reviewed search was applied to Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane, and DARE databases. We included all observational epidemiological research studies and RCTs. Studies evaluating at least one marker of airway inflammation in asthmatics after a period of physical training were selected. Data extraction was performed in a blinded fashion. We decided a priori to avoid pooling of the data in anticipation of heterogeneity of the studies, specifically heterogeneity of airway inflammatory markers studied as outcome measures. RESULTS: From the initial 2635 studies; 23 studies (16 RCTs and 7 prospective cohort studies) were included. Study sizes were generally small (median sample size = 30). There was a reduction in C-reactive protein, malondialdehyde, nitric oxide, sputum cell counts and IgE in asthmatics with physical training. Mixed results were observed after training for fractional excretion of nitric oxide and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. The data was not pooled owing to significant heterogeneity between studies, and a funnel plot tests for publication bias were not performed because there were less than 10 studies for almost all outcome measures. Physical training intervention type, duration, intensity, frequency, primary outcome measures, methods of assessing outcome measures, and study designs were heterogeneous. CONCLUSION: Due to reporting issues, lack of information and heterogeneity there was no definite conclusion; however, some findings suggest physical training may reduce airway inflammation in asthmatics.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Epidemiology, Asthma, Allergy, C-reactive protein, Bronchiole, Bronchial hyperresponsiveness


BACKGROUND: Acute asthma attacks remain a frequent cause of emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admission. Many factors encourage patients to seek asthma treatment at the emergency department. These factors may be related to the patient himself or to a health system that hinders asthma control. The aim of this study was to identify the main factors that lead to the frequent admission of asthmatic patients to the ED. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of all the patients who visited the emergency room with bronchial asthma attacks over a 9-month period was undertaken at two major academic hospitals. The following data were collected: demographic data, asthma control in the preceding month, where and by whom the patients were treated, whether the patient received education about asthma or its medication and the patients' reasons for visiting the ED.Result: Four hundred fifty (N = 450) patients were recruited, 39.1% of whom were males with a mean age of 42.3 +/- 16.7. The mean duration of asthma was 155.90 +/- 127.13 weeks. Approximately half of the patients did not receive any information about bronchial asthma as a disease, and 40.7% did not receive any education regarding how to use asthma medication. Asthma was not controlled or partially controlled in the majority (97.7%) of the patients preceding the admission to ED. The majority of the patients visited the ED to receive a bronchodilator by nebuliser (86.7%) and to obtain oxygen (75.1%). Moreover, 20.9% of the patients believed that the ED managed them faster than the clinic, and 21.1% claimed that their symptoms were severe enough that they could not wait for a clinic visit. No education about asthma and uncontrolled asthma are the major factors leading to frequent ED visits (three or more visits/year), p-value = 0.0145 and p-value = 0.0003, respectively. Asthma control also exhibited a significant relationship with inhaled corticosteroid ICS use (p-value =0.0401) and education about asthma (p-value =0.0117). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that many avoidable risk factors lead to uncontrolled asthma and frequent ED visits.

Concepts: Asthma, Hospital, Corticosteroid, Glucocorticoid, Emergency department, Bronchiole, Bronchodilator, Salbutamol