Atopy influences exhaled nitric oxide levels in adult asthmatics

Chest. 2000 Nov;118(5):1327-31. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.5.1327.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Allergens
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Histamine
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Respiration*
  • Skin Tests
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Steroids / administration & dosage
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Allergens
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Steroids
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Histamine