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Effect of inhaled corticosteroid treatment on exhaled breath condensate leukotriene E4 in children with mild asthma

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Chronic airway inflammation in children with asthma might be present even in the absence of pathological lung function tests and is known to increase the risk of permanent pulmonary damage. Thus, we aimed at investigating to what extent inflammatory markers such as leukotrienes (LTs) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) or fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) reflect therapeutic effects in these patients. Fifty steroid-naive patients (aged 8.8 ± 2.7 years) were included in the study. EBC was collected before and 6 months after therapy with inhaled corticosteroids. LTs were determined by using commercially available ELISA. In addition, FENO was measured by means of a chemiluminescence analyzer. Conventional lung function testing was performed revealing vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, maximum expiratory flow, and specific resistance. In EBC, LTE4 but not LTB4 levels significantly decreased after steroid therapy from 45.3 ± 36.0 pg/mL to 17.2 ± 11.4 pg/mL (p < 0.0001) concomitant with a slight, but significant improvement of lung function parameters. Mean FENO also indicated therapeutic success; however, in 20 of 50 patients, exhaled NO concentrations were higher after therapy. These findings suggest that LTE4 in breath condensate may be helpful in latent inflammatory activity in the bronchial mucosa in children with asthma.
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Keywords: Airway inflammation; asthma; biomarkers; childhood asthma; corticosteroid therapy; exhaled breath condensate; inflammatory markers; leukotrienes; nitric oxide; noninvasive

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University Children's Hospital, Giessen, Germany

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • 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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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