Serum ECP Taken in the Acute Episode of Bronchial Obstruction Can Predict the Development of Bronchial Asthma in Young Children
For the early institution of anti-asthma treatment, reliable markers distinguishing the children with asthma from children with virus-associated wheeze are needed. Serum eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP) has been suggested as a marker correlating with the intensity of eosinophilic inflammation. We have studied 27 children (age 3 to 35 months) admitted with acute bronchial obstruction. Each child had been followed for 12 months after the first episode and then assigned to one of two groups (asthma or non-asthma) based on the clinical course. Serum ECP (s-ECP) was taken at the acute episode and again at least 6 months later, when the child was completely symptom-free. Serum ECP was analyzed using the Pharmacia CAP ECP FEIA immunofluorescence system. Mean s-ECP during the acute episode was 26.5 g/L(5.5–69) in the asthma group (n = 14) and 9.7 (5.2–17 g/L) in the non-asthmatics (n = 13), p < 0.01. There was no difference in the s-ECP analyzed during the symptom-free period. Elevated values of serum ECP taken during, but not outside, the acute episodes of bronchial obstruction may be helpful in predicting the development of bronchial asthma in young children with acute obstructive episodes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-03-01
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