The value of FeNO measurement in asthma management: the motion against FeNO to help manage childhood asthma--reality bites

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2008 Jun;9(2):122-6. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2007.12.004. Epub 2008 May 15.


Since exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) was first demonstrated to be raised in asthmatic patients in the early 1990s, there has been a strong interest in its potential role in the diagnosis and management of asthma. This culminated in 2003 when the US Food and Drug Administration cleared the NIOX nitric oxide analyser for clinical application in patients with asthma. The interest in FeNO is based on the assumptions that FeNO is a marker of asthma and asthma control, and that it reflects eosinophilic airway inflammation. However, the literature remains unconvincing and inconclusive. Furthermore, studies which have management algorithms that include FeNO as a guide to asthma treatment have failed to observe any improvement in asthma control compared with the use of standard asthma guidelines. At present, the cost of including FeNO in management guidelines far outweighs any potential benefits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air / analysis*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma* / diagnosis
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Asthma* / metabolism
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exhalation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis*
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Nitric Oxide