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Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2012 Fall;3(2):e66-73. doi: 10.2500/ar.2012.3.0033. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Diffusion lung capacity of carbon monoxide: A novel marker of airways remodeling in asthmatic children?

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy, and.


Asthma is universally considered a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. Several noninvasive markers, such as exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and exhaled breath temperature (PletM), have been proposed to evaluate the degree of airway inflammation and remodeling in asthmatic children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between diffusion lung capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO) and these inflammatory markers in asthmatic children. We compared data of FeNO, PletM, and DLCO collected in 35 asthmatic children at admission (T0) and discharge (T1) after a period spent in a dust-mite-free environment (Misurina, Italian Dolomites, 1756 m). PletM showed a reduction from 29.48°C at T0 to 29.13°C at T1 (p = 0.17); DLCO passed from 93 to 102 (p = 0.085). FeNO mean value was 29.7 ppb at admission and 18.9 ppb at discharge (p = 0.014). Eosinophil mean count in induced sputum was 4 at T0 and 2 at T1 (p = 0.004). Spearman standardization coefficient beta was 0.414 between eosinophils and FeNO and -0.278 between eosinophils and DLCO. Pearson's correlation index between DLCO and PletM was -0.456 (p = 0.019). A negative correlation between DLCO and PletM was found. However, DLCO did not show a significant correlation with FeNO and eosinophils in the airways. Additional studies are needed to clarify the role of DLCO as a potential tool in monitoring childhood asthma.


Breath temperature; childhood asthma; diffusion lung capacity; exhaled nitric oxide; inflammation; remodeling; sputum eosinophils

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