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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Aug;146(2):507-12.

Airway inflammation and occurrence of delayed bronchoconstriction in exercise-induced asthma.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Motorie, Università di Genova, Italy.


We studied nine asthmatic patients with a history of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in order to investigate whether inflammatory changes in the airways occur after exercise and are eventually associated with the development of a late-phase asthmatic response. On two separate study days, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), bronchial lavage (BL), and bronchial biopsy (BB) were performed 3 h after an exercise or a methacholine (MCh) challenge. On two other separate occasions, FEV1 was monitored for 12 h after identical exercise and MCh challenges not followed by BAL, BL, and BB. We found a greater percentage of eosinophils in BAL after exercise versus MCh challenge (p < 0.05). In five patients, BAL eosinophils after exercise were > or = 2% of total inflammatory and immunoeffector cells. In three of these patients an FEV1 fall > 20% of control was recorded 5 to 12 h after exercise. However, two of these patients had 2% or more eosinophils in BAL and similar late falls of FEV1 after MCh challenge. The percentage of degranulating mast cells in BB was higher (p < 0.05) after EIA than after MCh, but no significant differences were found in BL histamine and leukotrienes. We conclude that (1) exercise may enhance mast cell degranulation and eosinophilic inflammation of the airways, and (2) a delayed bronchoconstriction after exercise is not specific to EIA but is more likely the result of fluctuations in lung function associated with airway inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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