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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2000 Nov;11(4):230-5.

Airway nitric oxide in infants with acute wheezy bronchitis.

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Children's Hospital, University of Essen, Germany.


Concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) in exhaled air are increased in children and adults with asthma, and NO measurements are used as a non-invasive marker to monitor airway inflammation in these patients. To define the role of NO in infants with acute wheezy bronchitis, we measured nasal and end-tidal NO concentrations in 17 infants with acute virus-associated wheezy bronchitis, in 22 term infants without respiratory disease, and in nine premature infants. Nasal NO measurements were performed with an olive placed in the infant's nose; end-tidal NO concentrations were assessed during tidal breathing through a snuggly fitting face mask. Both end-tidal NO concentrations and nasal NO concentrations were reduced in infants with acute wheezy bronchitis. There were no differences in NO concentrations between term infants and premature infants. Measurements by both techniques were highly reproducible, as assessed by repeated measurements three times daily on three consecutive days in eight premature infants. Reduced airway NO concentrations in infants with virus-associated acute wheezy bronchitis are in contrast to findings in adults where both upper and lower airway NO levels are increased in patients with asthma. Whether this reflects a different inflammatory reaction to upper airway infections in acutely wheezy infants or pathophysiologic differences in airway response remains to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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