Background: Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (F(E)NO) is a marker of airway inflammation in asthma. Monitoring of such inflammation is currently not included in asthma guidelines and remains controversial. The hypothesis underlying the present study was that, F(E)NO could help assessing asthma control and, therefore, improve its management, by predicting loss of control in asthmatics.
Methods: A total of 90 adult asthmatics were included in the study. Asthma control was evaluated according to ACQ. All patients underwent F(E)NO by chemiluminescent (EndoNO) and hand-held (MINO) devices, followed by lung function testing.
Results: MINO was accurate as compared to EndoNO. F(E)NO was significantly increased in uncontrolled as compared to controlled asthmatics using both devices. F(E)NO measurement was able to predict control maintenance in controlled asthmatics in the absence of any change in their treatment. Indeed, using cut-off values of 31 and 40 ppb, the negative predictive values were 95 and 97% for EndoNO and MINO, respectively. EndoNO and MINO were also able to assess asthma control, although to a lesser extent.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that F(E)NO can predict the persistence of asthma control in controlled patients and may now be used in asthma management since it can accurately be measured by means of hand-held devices.
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