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Respiration. 1999;66(2):112-8.

Clearance in small ciliated airways in allergic asthmatics after bronchial allergen provocation.

Author information

1
Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Asthma tends to affect mucociliary clearance, as assessed from measurements in large airways. However, there is no knowledge about clearance in the smallest airways of the tracheobronchial region in acute exacerbation of asthma.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the study was to investigate clearance from the bronchiolar region in patients with allergic asthma in a situation resembling a mild acute exacerbation of the disease. We also aimed to compare clearance data with corresponding data found for healthy subjects and asthmatics on therapy.

METHODS:

Tracheobronchial clearance was studied twice in 9 patients with mild asthma of the allergic type after inhalation of 6 microm (aerodynamic diameter) monodisperse Teflon particles labelled with 111In. At one exposure, inhalation was performed 4 h after bronchial provocation with an allergen the patients were allergic to. The second exposure was a control measurement. The particles were inhaled at an extremely slow flow, 0.05 liter/s, which gives deposition mainly in the small ciliated airways (bronchioles). Lung retention was measured at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h.

RESULTS:

All patients demonstrated an early asthmatic reaction of varying degree after bronchial provocation. There was significant clearance of radioaerosol in each 24-hour period for both exposures, with the possible exception of the period between 24 and 48 h for the provocation exposure, with similar fractions of retained particles at all points of time. The retained fractions were significantly larger compared to a group of healthy subjects and asthmatics on regular treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results indicate that in allergic asthmatics a bronchial allergen provocation with an early asthmatic reaction does not significantly influence overall clearance from the bronchiolar region. However, in the present group of patients, retention in small ciliated airways was significantly higher compared to healthy subjects and asthmatics on regular treatment.

Comment on

PMID:
10202313
DOI:
10.1159/000029351
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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