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STUDY OBJECTIVE: To examine whether atopy influences exhaled nitric oxide (NO) levels in adults with established asthma. SETTING: Specialist respiratory unit in a university teaching hospital. PATIENTS: Twenty-eight asthmatics (mean FEV(1), 85.7%) receiving short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and a range of inhaled steroids (0 to 4,000 microg/d). INTERVENTIONS: Subjects were studied on two occasions, 5 to 7 days apart, between September and March. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: On the first day, FEV(1), exhaled NO, and histamine challenge were performed. On the second day, exhaled NO, total IgE, and skin-prick testing to six common allergens were conducted. Exhaled NO was measured with the single exhalation method. We found exhaled NO levels to correlate positively with total IgE (r = 0.43, p = 0.02) and number of positive skin-prick tests (p = 0. 002). By contrast, there was no significant correlation between exhaled NO and FEV(1) or the provocative concentration causing a 20% fall in FEV(1). Subanalyses of steroid-treated and steroid-naive patients in this group revealed the same findings. CONCLUSION: Exhaled NO levels in asthmatics correlate more closely with atopy than with bronchial hyperreactivity and lung function.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1327 - 1331


Administration, Inhalation, Adult, Allergens, Analysis of Variance, Asthma, Bronchial Hyperreactivity, Bronchial Provocation Tests, Bronchoconstrictor Agents, Bronchodilator Agents, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Histamine, Humans, Hypersensitivity, Immediate, Immunoglobulin E, Lung, Male, Nitric Oxide, Respiration, Skin Tests, Statistics, Nonparametric, Steroids