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      Exhaled nitric oxide levels to guide treatment for adults with asthma

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 4

      Cochrane Airways Group

      Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Asthma guidelines aim to guide health practitioners to optimise treatment for patients so as to minimise symptoms, improve or maintain good lung function, and prevent acute exacerbations or flare-ups. The principle of asthma guidelines is based on a step-up or step-down regimen of asthma medications to maximise good health outcomes using minimum medications. Asthma maintenance therapies reduce airway inflammation that is usually eosinophilic. Tailoring asthma medications in accordance with airway eosinophilic levels may improve asthma outcomes such as indices of control or reduce exacerbations or both. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a marker of eosinophilic inflammation, and as it is easy to measure, has an advantage over other measurements of eosinophilic inflammation (for example sputum eosinophils).

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          Most cited references 37

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          Use of exhaled nitric oxide measurements to guide treatment in chronic asthma.

          International guidelines for the treatment of asthma recommend adjusting the dose of inhaled corticosteroids on the basis of symptoms, bronchodilator requirements, and the results of pulmonary-function tests. Measurements of the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FE(NO)) constitute a noninvasive marker that may be a useful alternative for the adjustment of inhaled-corticosteroid treatment. In a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 97 patients with asthma who had been regularly receiving treatment with inhaled corticosteroids to have their corticosteroid dose adjusted, in a stepwise fashion, on the basis of either FE(NO) measurements or an algorithm based on conventional guidelines. After the optimal dose was determined (phase 1), patients were followed up for 12 months (phase 2). The primary outcome was the frequency of exacerbations of asthma; the secondary outcome was the mean daily dose of inhaled corticosteroid. Forty-six patients in the FE(NO) group and 48 in the group whose asthma was treated according to conventional guidelines (the control group) completed the study. The final mean daily doses of fluticasone, the inhaled corticosteroid that was used, were 370 microg per day for the FE(NO) group (95 percent confidence interval, 263 to 477) and 641 microg per day for the control group (95 percent confidence interval, 526 to 756; P=0.003), a difference of 270 microg per day (95 percent confidence interval, 112 to 430). The rates of exacerbation were 0.49 episode per patient per year in the FE(NO) group (95 percent confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.78) and 0.90 in the control group (95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 1.49), representing a nonsignificant reduction of 45.6 percent (95 percent confidence interval for mean difference, -78.6 percent to 54.5 percent) in the FE(NO) group. There were no significant differences in other markers of asthma control, use of oral prednisone, pulmonary function, or levels of airway inflammation (sputum eosinophils). With the use of FE(NO) measurements, maintenance doses of inhaled corticosteroids may be significantly reduced without compromising asthma control. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Correlation between exhaled nitric oxide, sputum eosinophils, and methacholine responsiveness in patients with mild asthma.

            Eosinophils in induced sputum and exhaled nitric oxide (NO) are currently used as non-invasive markers in the assessment of airway inflammation in asthma. As both sputum eosinophils (%) and exhaled NO are raised in asthmatic subjects not receiving inhaled steroids and decreased following corticosteroid therapy, a relationship between them is plausible. Exhaled NO was measured by chemiluminescence analyser, sputum induction by 3.5% saline inhalation, and bronchial responsiveness was measured as PC20FEV1 methacholine in 35 stable asthmatic patients using beta 2 agonist alone and the correlation between these non-invasive markers of airway inflammation was studied. There were significant correlations between exhaled NO and PC20 (r = -0.64), exhaled NO and sputum eosinophils (%) (r = 0.48), and also between sputum eosinophils (%) and PC20 (r = -0.40). The correlation between exhaled NO and PC20 suggests that exhaled NO or the mechanisms leading to its increase may contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma. Furthermore, the relationship between sputum eosinophils (%), exhaled NO, and PC20 highlight the potential use of eosinophils (%) in induced sputum and exhaled NO to monitor the severity of asthma.
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              Management of asthma based on exhaled nitric oxide in addition to guideline-based treatment for inner-city adolescents and young adults: a randomised controlled trial.

              Preliminary evidence is equivocal about the role of exhaled nitric oxide (NO) in clinical asthma management. We aimed to assess whether measurement of exhaled NO, as a biomarker of airway inflammation, could increase the effectiveness of asthma treatment, when used as an adjunct to clinical care based on asthma guidelines for inner-city adolescents and young adults. We did a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group trial at ten centres in the USA. We screened 780 inner-city patients, aged 12-20 years, who had persistent asthma. All patients completed a run-in period of 3 weeks on a regimen based on standard treatment. 546 eligible participants who adhered to treatment during this run-in period were then randomly assigned to 46 weeks of either standard treatment, based on the guidelines of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), or standard treatment modified on the basis of measurements of fraction of exhaled NO. The primary outcome was the number of days with asthma symptoms. We analysed patients on an intention-to-treat basis. This trial is registered with clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00114413. During the 46-week treatment period, the mean number of days with asthma symptoms did not differ between the treatment groups (1.93 [95% CI 1.74 to 2.11] in the NO monitoring group vs 1.89 [1.71 to 2.07] in the control group; difference 0.04 [-0.22 to 0.29], p=0.780). Other symptoms, pulmonary function, and asthma exacerbations did not differ between groups. Patients in the NO monitoring group received higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids (difference 119 mug per day, 95% CI 49 to 189, p=0.001) than controls. Adverse events did not differ between treatment groups (p>0.1 for all adverse events). Conventional asthma management resulted in good control of symptoms in most participants. The addition of fraction of exhaled NO as an indicator of control of asthma resulted in higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids, without clinically important improvements in symptomatic asthma control.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                146518
                Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
                Wiley
                14651858
                September 01 2016
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Queensland University of Technology; Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation; Brisbane Queensland Australia
                [2 ]St George's, University of London; Population Health Research Institute; Cranmer Terrace London UK SW17 0RE
                [3 ]The University of Queensland; School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work; Brisbane Queensland Australia
                [4 ]Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University; Child Health Division; PO Box 41096 Darwin Northern Territories Australia 0811
                Article
                10.1002/14651858.CD011440.pub2
                6457753
                27580628
                © 2016
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