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      Basement membrane thickening and clinical features of children with asthma.

      Adolescent, Animals, Antigens, Dermatophagoides, immunology, Asthma, blood, pathology, Basement Membrane, Biopsy, Bronchoscopes, Child, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Female, Humans, Hypersensitivity, Immediate, complications, Immunoglobulin E, Male, Respiratory Function Tests, Sex Factors

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          Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by airway inflammation, bronchial hyper-responsiveness, and airway obstruction. Although asthma induces partially reversible airway obstruction, obstruction can sometimes become irreversible. This may be a consequence of airway remodeling, which includes a number of structural changes, such as epithelial detachment, basement membrane (BM) thickening, smooth muscle hypertrophy, and new vessel formation. This study evaluated children with asthma for the presence of BM thickening. Eighteen children with asthma and 24 control subjects underwent flexible bronchoscopy with endobronchial biopsy. Light microscopy was used to measure BM thickness in paraffin-embedded biopsy sections. The association between BM thickening and age, sex, duration of asthma, asthma severity, FEV(1), FEV(1)/FVC, FEF(25-75%), methacholine PC(20), eosinophil count, and presence of atopy was examined. Basement membrane thickness was greater in subjects with asthma (8.3 +/- 1.4 microM) than in control subjects (6.8 +/- 1.3 microM, P = 0.0008). Multiple regression analysis revealed that sex, FEV(1)/FVC, total IgE, and atopy (IgE for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus >0.34 kUA/l) were significant predictive factors for BM thickness. There was no significant association between BM thickness and age, duration of asthma, FEV(1), FEF(25-75%), methacholine PC(20), eosinophil count, or asthma severity. Basement membrane thickening has been known to be present in children with asthma. In addition, we report an association between BM thickness and sex, FEV(1)/FVC, total IgE, and the presence of IgE specific to D. pteronyssinus.

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