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The role of arterial blood gases, exercise testing, and cardiac examination in asthma

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The severity of bronchial asthma may not be assessed easily in some patients using the current evaluation methods. In this study, we aimed to obtain more objective and detailed data in evaluating patients with stable mild and moderate bronchial asthma and to validate the current parameters against more objective ones in determining the disease severity. One-hundred six stable patients with bronchial asthma were included in the study. These patients underwent spirometric and cardiological examination, 6-minute walk testing (6MWT) and arterial blood gas analysis. Continuous measurement of pulse oxymetry (SpO2) was done during 6MWT. Dyspnea that developed during 6MWT was measured using the modified Borg category scale. Sixteen patients were found severely hypoxemic at rest, and 16 patients were severely desaturated at 6MWT. Nineteen patients had pulmonary hypertension on echocardiography. Patients with oxygenation problems were older and had longer disease duration, lower forced expiratory flow of 25–75%, higher Borg exercise rating, and higher pulmonary artery pressure (p < 0.05). Patients with pulmonary hypertension had earlier disease onset, lower forced expiratory flow of 25–75%, lower arterial oxygen tension and lower pre-6MWT SpO2 (p < 0.05), older age, and lower SpO2 at 6MWT (p < 0.01). Classic evaluation methods correctly operated only on the two-thirds of asthmatic patients. Cardiological examination, 6MWT, and arterial blood gas analysis were needed for the true evaluation of other patients who had potentially progressive disease. We think that evaluation of asthmatic patients with these more objective and detailed methods provides important additional clinical data.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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