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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1988 May;137(5):1020-5.

Nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness to inhaled histamine and hyperventilation of cold dry air in subjects with respiratory symptoms of uncertain etiology.

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  • 1Department of Chest Medicine, Hôptial du Sacré-Coeur, Montreal, Canada.


Fifty adult subjects referred to a respiratory function laboratory of a tertiary care hospital for respiratory symptoms of uncertain etiology were investigated prospectively by means of a questionnaire, isocapnic inhalation of dry cold air (-20 degrees C), histamine inhalation tests, monitoring of peak expiratory flow rates, total eosinophil counts, and total IgE. Wheezing, tightness in the chest, dyspnea, and cough were reported by 35, 23, 41, and 30 subjects, respectively. FEV1 values less than 80% pred were found in only 2 subjects. Twenty-nine subjects had a PC20 histamine less than or equal to 16 mg/ml. Twenty, 15, and 10% falls in FEV1 were found in 10, 18, and 26 subjects, respectively, using hyperventilation of cold air. Significant eosinophilia and increased total IgE levels were seen in 5 and 18 subjects, respectively. Eight subjects had daily changes in PEFR greater than 20% on at least 1 day of monitoring. There was no significant association between specific responses to the respiratory questionnaire or the presence of rhinitis on the one hand and bronchial responsiveness to histamine and cold air on the other hand. The 10 subjects who demonstrated a greater than 20% change in FEV1 after cold air inhalation also had a PC20 less than 16 mg/ml, and 5 of them reacted at a concentration less than or equal to 2 mg/ml. Two subjects who had a PC20 less than or equal to 2 mg/ml demonstrated a less than 20% change in FEV1 after inhaling cold air. There was no association between the increase in total eosinophils or IgE and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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