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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Jun;31(6):412-8.

Relationship between bronchial hyperresponsiveness and development of asthma in children with chronic cough.

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Department of Pediatrics, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.


To evaluate the relationship between bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) and the development of asthma in children with chronic cough, we performed methacholine inhalation challenges and transcutaneous oxygen pressure (tcPO2) measurements in 92 children with chronic cough aged from 1-13 years (55 boys and 37 girls; mean, 5.3 years) and followed them for > or = 10 years. Forty-four age-matched children with asthma (24 males and 20 females; mean, 6.5 years) and 44 age-matched children without cough or asthma served as controls (18 males and 26 females; mean, 4.6 years). Consecutive doubling doses of methacholine were inhaled until a 10% decrease in tcPO2 from baseline was observed. The cumulative dose of methacholine at the inflection point of the tcPO2 record (Dmin-PO2) was considered to represent hyperresponsiveness to inhaled methacholine. After 10 years or more of follow-up, 60 of the 92 subjects with cough answered our questionnaire, and 27/60 had been diagnosed with asthma. There was a statistical difference in Dmin-PO2 between the children who presented with chronic cough originally and who developed asthma (asthma-developed group) and those who did not develop asthma (asthma-free group). There was no difference in the value of Dmin-PO2 between the asthma-developed group and the asthma group, or between the asthma-free group and the age-matched control group. Among the children with chronic cough, there was no difference in Dmin-PO2 between girls and boys, either in the asthma-developed group or in the asthma-group. We conclude that 45% of the children with a chronic cough in early life developed asthma, and that BHR in children with chronic cough during the childhood period is a strong risk factor for the development of asthma.

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