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Assessment of fractionated exhaled nitric oxide as a biomarker for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis

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Diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and determination of response to therapy is based on histological assessment of the esophagus, which requires upper endoscopy. In children, in whom a dietary approach is commonly used, multiple endoscopies are needed, because foods are eliminated and then gradually reintroduced. Ideally, noninvasive methods could supplement or replace upper endoscopy to facilitate management. Fractionated exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) has been proposed as a useful measure for monitoring disease activity in studies of patients with eosinophil-predominant asthma and in other atopic disorders. Thus, we evaluated whether FeNO levels could be a useful biomarker to assess the response to therapy in EoE patients. This study was designed to determine whether there is a change in FeNO levels during treatment with topical corticosteroids and whether changes correlated with clinical response. This was a prospective, multicenter study that enrolled nonasthmatic patients with established EoE. FeNO levels and symptom scores were measured at baseline, biweekly during 6-week swallowed fluticasone treatment, and 4 weeks posttreatment. Twelve patients completed the trial. We found a statistically significant difference between median pre- and posttreatment FeNO levels [20.3 ppb (16.0‐29.0 ppb) vs 17.6 ppb (11.7‐27.3 ppb), p=0.009]. However, neither the pretreatment FeNO level, a change of FeNO level after 2 weeks of treatment, nor the FeNO level at the end of treatment confidently predicted a clinical or histological response. Although our findings suggest nitric oxide possibly has a physiological role in EoE, our observations do not support a role of FeNo determination for management of EoE.
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Keywords: Biomarker; disease activity; eosinophilic esophagitis; fractionated exhaled nitric oxide; monitoring; noninvasive; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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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