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Thorax. 2006 Sep;61(9):817-27.

Exhaled nitric oxide measurements: clinical application and interpretation.

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1
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, P O Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand. robin.taylor@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

The use of exhaled nitric oxide measurements (F(E)NO) in clinical practice is now coming of age. There are a number of theoretical and practical factors which have brought this about. Firstly, F(E)NO is a good surrogate marker for eosinophilic airway inflammation. High F(E)NO levels may be used to distinguish eosinophilic from non-eosinophilic pathologies. This information complements conventional pulmonary function testing in the assessment of patients with non-specific respiratory symptoms. Secondly, eosinophilic airway inflammation is steroid responsive. There are now sufficient data to justify the claim that F(E)NO measurements may be used successfully to identify and monitor steroid response as well as steroid requirements in the diagnosis and management of airways disease. F(E)NO measurements are also helpful in identifying patients who do/do not require ongoing treatment with inhaled steroids. Thirdly, portable nitric oxide analysers are now available, making routine testing a practical possibility. However, a number of issues still need to be resolved, including the diagnostic role of F(E)NO in preschool children and the use of reference values versus individual F(E)NO profiles in managing patients with difficult or severe asthma.

PMID:
16936238
PMCID:
PMC2117092
DOI:
10.1136/thx.2005.056093
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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