Background: Short-term, indoor exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is still highly prevalent; however, little is known about the acute lung response in adult asthma.
Objectives: We investigated whether acute, experimental ETS exposure influences symptoms, lung function, and inflammatory parameters.
Methods: Human subjects with asthma (n = 23) were exposed for 180 min to either room air or ETS at 250, 450, or 850 µg/m3. Respiratory symptoms, lung function, and exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) were measured. Additionally, blood samples were analyzed for pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Results: Humans with asthma demonstrate an increase in respiratory symptoms at all levels of ETS exposure, while the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FeNO decrease with increasing ETS. The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 increases at intermediate ETS concentrations, whereas tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-8 increase only at the highest ETS concentration.
Conclusion: Following 180 min of acute, experimental ETS exposure, we observed a significant increase in respiratory symptoms, a decrease in lung function, and an increase in inflammatory cytokines, indicating an acute lung response in asthma.
Keywords: Allergic asthma; Environmental tobacco smoke; Inflammation; Lung function; Respiratory symptoms.
© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.