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Clin Chim Acta. 1995 Sep 15;240(2):163-78.

Plasma protein leakage and local secretion of proteins assessed in sputum in asthma and COPD. The effect of inhaled corticosteroids.

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Department of Pulmonology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are characterized by chronic airway inflammation with cell infiltration, increased plasma exudation and abnormal local secretion of proteins. We have analysed whether sputum differs in this respect between asthma (n = 9) and COPD (n = 9), and whether inflammatory markers in sputum are affected by treatment. In non-smoking asthma patients there was more plasma protein leakage, based on the relative coefficient of excretion Q alpha 2macroglobulin/QIgG (P = 0.03). There was less local secretion of sIgA and lactoferrin than in COPD (P < 0.05). Tryptase was slightly higher in sputum from asthma than from COPD (P < 0.05), whereas eosinophil cationic protein and myeloperoxidase were similar. After treatment with glucocorticosteroids, there was a reduction in the Q alpha 2macroglobulin/Qalbumin (P < 0.015), but no effect was seen on the levels of products from local cells. We conclude that sputum analysis is useful to study the local inflammatory process in asthma and COPD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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