Bronchoalveolar lavage in asthmatic children: evidence of neutrophil activation in mild-to-moderate persistent asthma

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2001 Apr;12(2):73-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3038.2001.012002073.x.


Little information is available on cell profiles and mediator production in the lower airways of children with asthma by comparison with the adult population. To study the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell profiles and production of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in childhood bronchial asthma, a retrospective study was performed in 29 children (13 allergic asthmatic children and 16 controls). Six of the asthmatics had mild-to-moderate persistent disease and seven had intermittent asthma. The BAL cell count and ECP and MPO values of asthmatic children were compared with those from 16 controls. The asthmatic patients had higher values than controls for the total cell count (p = 0.08), for neutrophils (p = 0.02), and for ECP and MPO (p < 0.001). MPO levels (p = 0.04), neutrophil count (p = 0.06), and ECP values (p = 0.06) were higher in patients with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma than in those with intermittent asthma. Our results demonstrate that neutrophil-mediated inflammation is greater in patients with more severe asthma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Eosinophils / immunology
  • Eosinophils / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Neutrophil Activation*
  • Peroxidase / analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribonucleases*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Peroxidase
  • Ribonucleases