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Chest. 1988 Dec;94(6):1211-5.

Chemical properties of bronchorrhea sputum in bronchial asthma.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Bronchorrhea, defined as watery sputum of 100 ml or more per day, was seen in 18 of 207 patients (8.7 percent) with bronchial asthma during attack. Fifteen bronchorrhea sputum samples were chemically examined using ten parameters: dry weight, albumin, IgA, pH, Na+, Cl-, K+, prostaglandins E and F and histamine, and compared with eight saliva samples and 17 mucoid sputum samples. Bronchorrhea sputum differed from saliva in its chemical parameters. Bronchorrhea sputum exhibited parameter values intermediate between those of saliva and mucoid sputum, except for the two following parameters. The pH of bronchorrhea sputum was significantly lower than that of mucoid sputum and histamine concentration, expressed as weight per dry weight of sample, was significantly higher in bronchorrhea than in mucoid sputum. Administration of corticosteroid or an histamine H1-blocker to five to nine asthmatic patients with associated bronchorrhea sputum during asthmatic attacks, significantly reduced the volume of bronchorrhea sputum, whereas anticholinergics and H2-blocker did not alter the sputum volume.

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