Indexed on: 04 Aug '09Published on: 04 Aug '09Published in: Respiratory Medicine
Airway dehydration is a potential trigger of bronchoconstriction in exercise-induced asthma; however, its role in stable asthma has not been explored. Using sputum percent solids, as an indicator of airway hydration, we sought relationships between airway hydration and other known markers of neutrophilic (TH1) and allergic (TH2) inflammation in stable asthma.Thirty-seven atopic subjects with stable asthma and 15 healthy controls underwent sputum induction. Sputum was analyzed for percent solids, cell counts, cellular and biochemical markers of inflammation and purines.Sputum percent solids was significantly elevated in stable asthmatics vs. controls and positively correlated with markers of neutrophilic/TH1-type inflammation (neutrophils, IL-8 and AMP). Sputum percent solids were not correlated with markers of allergic/TH2-type inflammation. These data suggest a direct relationship between neutrophil inflammation and airway hydration in stable asthmatics.