Nonspecific bronchial reactivity in asthmatic children depends on severity but not on age

A. Avital, N. Noviski, E. Bar-Yishay, C. Springer, M. Levy, S. Godfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Bronchial reactivity to inhaled methacholine was measured by the steady-state tidal breathing method in asthmatic children aged 1 to 17 yr. The children were divided into three clinical groups according to their minimal therapeutic requirements: mild asthma, children requiring infrequent treatment with inhaled β-agonists (81 patients); moderate asthma, children requiring daily preventive treatment with either cromolyn sodium or slow-release theophylline (67 patients); and severe asthma, children requiring daily preventive treatment with oral or inhaled steroids (34 patients). They were also divided into three age groups: from 1 to 6 yr, tested by using bronchial provocation with tracheal auscultation (BPTA) to determine the methacholine concentration causing wheezing (PCW); and from 7 to 11 yr and 12 to 17 yr, using lung function testing to determine the concentration causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20). For the whole group the mean level of bronchial reactivity to methacholine correlated inversely with the severity of bronchial asthma according to the minimal drug requirements (p < 0.0001) and was similar over the whole age range (p < 0.9965) for each severity grouping. In the older children the difference between moderate and severe asthma was not significant, but this may have been a result of the effect of corticosteroids in the severe group. We concluded that age has no significant effect on the methacholine response in asthmatic children over a wide age range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-38
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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