Occupational Asthma Reference

Hargreave FE, Ryan G, Thomson NC, OByrne PM, Latimer K, Juniper EF, Dolovich J, Bronchial responsiveness to histamine or methacholine in asthma: measurement and clinical significance, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 1981;68:347-355,

Keywords: nsbr, method, key, methacholine, Canada

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Bronchial responsiveness is the term used to de- scribe the tendency of the airways to bronchoconstrict to specific stimuli such as allergens and isocyanates, which select a limited population of apparently sen- sitized subjects, and to nonspecific (nonallergic) stim- uli, which affect most asthmatic persons. Specific bronchial responsiveness to allergic stimuli is difficult to quantitate because commonly available allergen ex- tracts are not well standardized for the number and concentration of components. Nonspecific respon- siveness can be quantitated by inhalation tests with histamine or methacholine, by exercise, or by iso- capnic hyperventilation of cold air, and may be in- creased in asthma and other conditions such as chronic obstructive bronchitis and cystic fibrosis. In this article we will discuss the measurement of nonspecific bron- chial responsiveness by inhalation tests with histamine or methacholine and its relationship to the occurrence and severity of asthma.

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