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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2003 Mar;199(3):193-6.

Transient relief of asthma symptoms during jaundice: a possible beneficial role of bilirubin.

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Department of Geriatric and Respiratory Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8574, Japan.


Bilirubin arises from enzymatic reduction by biliverdin reductase of biliverdin, a product of heme oxygenase activity. Recent literature describes that bilirubin is a major physiologic antioxidant that can protect cells from chemical oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide. Recently, it has been reported that oxidative stress may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of asthma. We report a case of complete resolution of persistent difficult-to-control asthma in accordance with increased levels of serum bilirubin due to acute hepatitis B. The present case suggests that anti-oxidative agents might be effective for the treatment of asthma.

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