Prolonged acute exposure to 0.16 ppm ozone induces eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthmatic subjects with allergies

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Dec;100(6 Pt 1):802-8. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(97)70277-x.


Background: Increased ambient ozone levels have been associated with increased asthma morbidity in epidemiologic studies. Given that asthma is characterized by airway inflammation and increased sensitivity to airway irritants, it has been suggested that asthmatic subjects may be particularly sensitive to the effect of ozone.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether exposure to 0.16 ppm ozone induces eosinophilic inflammation in the lower airways of asthmatic subjects.

Methods: Eight asthmatic subjects sensitive to mites were exposed to 0.16 ppm ozone and clean air on separate occasions no less than 4 weeks apart in a double-blind, randomized fashion followed by bronchoscopy 18 hours later. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and bronchial lavage fluid were examined for eosinophils.

Results: Ozone induced significant increases in airway eosinophils, especially in bronchial lavage fluid.

Conclusions: Ozone exposure results in increased eosinophilic inflammation in the lower airways of asthmatic subjects with allergies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / pathology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchi / physiopathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eosinophils / drug effects*
  • Eosinophils / pathology*
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology*
  • Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Vital Capacity / drug effects


  • Ozone