Effect of inhaled corticosteroid treatment on exhaled breath condensate leukotriene E(4) in children with mild asthma

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2008 Jul-Aug;29(4):371-5. doi: 10.2500/aap.2008.29.3135.


Chronic airway inflammation in children with asthma might be present even in the absence of pathological lung function tests and is known to increase the risk of permanent pulmonary damage. Thus, we aimed at investigating to what extent inflammatory markers such as leukotrienes (LTs) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) or fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FE(NO)) reflect therapeutic effects in these patients. Fifty steroid-naive patients (aged 8.8 +/- 2.7 years) were included in the study. EBC was collected before and 6 months after therapy with inhaled corticosteroids. LTs were determined by using commercially available ELISA. In addition, FE(NO) was measured by means of a chemiluminescence analyzer. Conventional lung function testing was performed revealing vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, maximum expiratory flow, and specific resistance. In EBC, LTE(4) but not LTB(4) levels significantly decreased after steroid therapy from 45.3 +/- 36.0 pg/mL to 17.2 +/- 11.4 pg/mL (p < 0.0001) concomitant with a slight, but significant improvement of lung function parameters. Mean FE(NO) also indicated therapeutic success; however, in 20 of 50 patients, exhaled NO concentrations were higher after therapy. These findings suggest that LTE(4) in breath condensate may be helpful in latent inflammatory activity in the bronchial mucosa in children with asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Down-Regulation
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Leukotriene E4 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Leukotriene E4