Monitoring Exhaled Nitric Oxide Does Not Help Manage Asthma
A new study shows that monitoring levels of exhaled nitric oxide
in adolescents with asthma, and adjusting treatment accordingly,
does not help manage their disease.
Balintfy: A new study shows that monitoring levels of exhaled nitric oxide in adolescents with asthma, and adjusting treatment accordingly, does not help manage their disease. Dr. William Busse is a principal investigator from the University of Wisconsin.
Busse: We thought that if we were more directed towards reducing airway inflammation by measuring the exhaled nitric oxide, asthma control would be better.
Balintfy: Asthma is a disease which is characterized by a number of key symptoms, usually coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. These symptoms occur when the tissues of the lungs become inflamed and the muscles in the airways contract, making breathing difficult. Dr. Busse explains the scope of the study.
Busse: One group had sort of modification of their treatment based upon what we called guideline care. Guideline care is looking at patient's symptoms and lung functions and adjusting the medications according to these parameters. The other group — and this was all done in a blinded fashion — not only had assessments of these clinical parameters of their disease, but also had an assessment of their exhaled nitric oxide.
Balintfy: In the end, the study found that the group whose treatment was guided by exhaled nitric oxide did not end up with fewer or less severe asthma symptoms or fewer asthma exacerbations compared with the group that received treatment based on the guidelines alone.
Busse: I think what one can conclude from the study is if you follow the recommendations for treatment of asthma as put forward by guidelines, which were just updated most recently, and this is through the NIH, one can very effectively manage patients with asthma. You don't necessarily need special equipment.Balintfy: Approximately 550 adolescents in 10 cities across the United States participated in the study. It was conducted by the Inner City Asthma Network, which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For more on the finding, published in the September 20th issue of The Lancet, visit www.niaid.nih.gov. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.