Expired nitric oxide and airway reactivity in infants at risk for asthma

Robert S. Tepper, Conrado J. Llapur, Marcus H. Jones, Christina Tiller, Cathy Coates, Risa Kimmel, Jeffrey Kisling, Barry Katz, Yan Ding, Nancy Swigonski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Background: Family histories of atopy, as well as histories of atopic dermatitis and food allergy, are important risk factors for an infant to have asthma. Although atopic sensitization appears to contribute to the development of asthma, it is unclear when the airways become involved with the atopic process and whether airway function relates to the atopic characteristics of the infant. Objective: We sought to evaluate whether atopic infants without prior episodes of wheezing have increased expired nitric oxide (eNO) levels and heightened airway reactivity. Methods: Infants with eczema were recruited, and atopic status was defined by specific IgE levels to foods or aeroallergens and total IgE levels. eNO, forced expiratory flow at 75% exhaled volume (FEF75), and airway reactivity to inhaled methacholine were measured in sedated infants. Airway reactivity was quantified by using the provocative concentration to decrease FEF75 by 30%. Results: Median age for the 114 infants evaluated was 10.7 months (range, 2.6-19.1 months). Infants sensitized to egg or milk compared with infants sensitized to neither egg nor milk had lower flows (FEF75: 336 vs 285 mL/s, P < .003) and lower lnPC30 (mg/mL) provocative concentrations to decrease FEF75 by 30% (-0.6 vs -1.2, P < .02) but no difference in eNO levels. Infants with total serum IgE levels of greater than 20 IU/mL had higher eNO levels compared with infants with IgE levels of 20 IU/mL or less (14.6 vs 11.2 ppb, P < .023) but no difference in forced flows or airway reactivity. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that atopic characteristics of the infant might be important determinants of the airway physiology of forced expiratory flows, airway reactivity, and eNO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-765
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • airway reactivity
  • Atopy
  • eczema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Tepper, R. S., Llapur, C. J., Jones, M. H., Tiller, C., Coates, C., Kimmel, R., Kisling, J., Katz, B., Ding, Y., & Swigonski, N. (2008). Expired nitric oxide and airway reactivity in infants at risk for asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 122(4), 760-765. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2008.07.022