DOI: 10.2500/aap.2024.45.230077 ISSN: 1088-5412

Markers of eosinophilic airway inflammation in patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis

Svetlana Rebrova, Alexander Emelyanov, Galina Sergeeva, Alexey Korneenkov
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy

Background: Measurement of airway inflammation is an important step to determine phenotype of asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR). Objective: To assess the level of nitric oxide in exhaled air (FeNO), nasal fraction of nitric oxide (nasal NO), their relationship with clinical control and blood eosinophils in patients with steroid-naive mild and moderate asthma and AR. Methods: One hundred forty-seven patients (65 men), ages 26‐49.5 years (mean age, 32 years) with AR (n = 81) or AR and concomitant asthma (n = 46) and 20 healthy subjects were included in a single-center cohort study. All the patients underwent spirometry with reversibility test. Control of asthma and AR was assessed by using the Asthma Control Questionnaire and the visual analog scale, respectively. Levels of FeNO and nasal NO were measured by chemiluminescent analyzer, peripheral blood eosinophils were counted by automatic analyzer. Results: The FeNO level was significantly elevated in the patients with asthma and concomitant AR compared with the healthy subjects and was associated with control of both asthma and AR. There was no correlation between nasal NO and control of AR. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the level of eosinophils of 150 cells/μL may be a cutoff for lower airway eosinophilic inflammation. Blood eosinophils count was unable to distinguish eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic upper airway inflammation. Conclusion: We confirm that FeNO but not nasal NO is a marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation in patients with mild-moderate steroid-naive AR and concomitant asthma. A blood eosinophil level of ≥150 cells/µL may be a simple marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation in patients with asthma. However, its low specificity requires repeated measurements and use in combination with other biomarkers.

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