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Lung. 1990;168 Suppl:132-41.

Pharmacology of airway inflammation in asthma.

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Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


Chronic desquamative eosinophilic bronchitis is a characteristic pathologic feature of asthma which may even antedate the onset of symptoms. The pharmacology of asthmatic inflammation has been relatively poorly studied and most of the current data available have been inferred indirectly from studies of bronchial hyperresponsiveness and late-phase responses. Apart from mast cells, the effects of drugs used in the treatment of asthma on other airway inflammatory cells such as eosinophils, alveolar macrophages, etc. have not been extensively studied. The pharmacology of asthmatic inflammation should comprise the study of various aspects of this inflammatory response such as airway microvascular leakage, mediator release, and cell chemotaxis. Ultimately the pharmacologic modulation of the pathologic features of the asthmatic airway by the chronic use of antiasthma drugs, coupled with clinical responses, need to be investigated using bronchial biopsies and broncholveolar lavage in asthmatic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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