Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Among asthmatics, exercise-induced wheeze (EIW) is a frequent symptom, and 40–77% of asthmatics demonstrate exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). In the North-Trøndelag population-based survey of 8,571 adolescents (YOUNG-HUNT), 26% reported wheeze during the previous 12 months (current wheeze). Of those subjects, 50% reported EIW. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between EIW and EIB in randomly selected adolescents with EIW as the only or predominant asthma-like symptom, and to relate our findings to results from methacholine bronchoprovocation tests (MT) and measurements of exhaled nitric oxide (ENO). Sixty-three subjects with current wheeze induced by exercise, but not by allergen exposure, were investigated using a treadmill exercise test (ET) and measurements of ENO. Fifty-eight subjects completed a MT on a separate study day. EIB was defined as a fall of ≥ 10% in the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after exercise (ΔFEV1%ex). Twenty-one subjects (33%) had EIB and 33 (57%) had a positive MT. The degree of reported dyspnea during the ET was not correlated to the ΔFEV1%ex. The correlation between EIB and methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction (MIB) was poor, and the ΔFEV1%ex was more pronounced in smokers than in non-smokers. Moreover, ENO was not increased in subjects with positive vs. negative ET. Hence, EIW, when reported as the only or predominant asthma-like symptom, was linked to EIB in only one-third of the patients. We conclude that EIW is a poor predictor of EIB in epidemiological studies. The poor correlation between EIB and MIB indicates that these two tests measure different mechanisms of bronchial hyper-responsiveness.
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