Alterations in Airway Inflammation and Lung Function During Corticosteroid Therapy for Atopic Asthma: Materials and Methods

The use of endobronchial biopsy is considered a “gold standard” technique for the quantification of airway inflammation, When numbers of T cells, macrophages, and eosinophils are quantified by immunohistochemistry and computerized image analysis, the measures are highly reproducible at the within-section, within-biopsy, and intraindividual levels. We have previously shown that interindividual variability is greater than intraindividual variability. However, our laboratory has previously demonstrated that, because of biological variability, observed changes in airway inflammation are dependent on sampling interval. Steroid-induced changes to both lung function and airway inflammation are thought to be dependent on the duration of therapy. For example, spirometry findings generally improve before bronchial reactivity., Observed changes in measures of asthma severity are dependent on the time interval between measures and the duration of steroid ther-apy. We hypothesized that the study of repeat measures of airway inflammation during corticosteroid therapy might provide important data about the relation between airway inflammation and lung function in patients with atopic asthma. Levitra This article details the relation between changes in bronchial inflammation (using endobronchial biopsy specimens) and lung function during therapy with high-dose inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP) for atopic asthma.
Subjects
Study subjects were enrolled into a study of FP-induced alterations to lung function and the immunopathology of asthma over time. Twenty-three subjects (18 patients with atopic asthma) completed the protocol. Details of comparisons between placebo-treated and steroid-treated groups are published else-where. Changes in lung function and airway inflammation in the nine atopic subjects who received placebo treatment are published in detail elsewhere.

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