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Eur J Respir Dis Suppl. 1986;147:98-104.

Triggers of airway inflammation.


Most asthmatics have hyperresponsive airways. This makes them more sensitive than non-asthmatics to bronchoconstricting environmental exposures which, in their turn, may enhance responsiveness. Airway inflammation is considered to be a key determinant of airway hyperresponsiveness: the fact that chronic airway inflammation in cystic fibrosis does not lead to airway hyperresponsiveness of any importance indicates, however, that the role of airway inflammation is complex and incompletely elucidated. The main inducers of airway inflammation are viral infections, antigens, occupational stimuli and pollutants. Although exercise, airway cooling and hyper- or hypotonic aerosols are potent stimuli of bronchoconstriction, it is questionable if airway inflammation is involved in their mode of action. Each of the above-mentioned stimuli is discussed, with emphasis laid on the relation of symptoms to mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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