Peripheral airways responsiveness to cool, dry air in normal and asthmatic individuals

David A. Kaminsky, Charles G. Irvin, David A. Gurka, Diane C. Feldsien, Elizabeth M. Wagner, Mark C. Liu, Sally E. Wenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Peripheral airways resistance (Rp) has been shown to be increased in asymptomatic asthmatic patients with normal spirometric values, and to be correlated with airways hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. We investigated whether Rp in asthmatic subjects with exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) would rise in response to cool, dry air. Using a wedged bronchoscope technique, we challenged an isolated lung segment with high flows (500 to 1,000 ml/min) of cool (22° C) dry 5% CO2 in air for 5 min in eight asthmatic subjects with EIB and eight normal subjects. Baseline Rp and Rp following challenge were measured with saturated air at 37° C at a flow rate of 100 ml/min. Baseline Rp was significantly greater in the asthmatic (0.09; [0.05 to 0.23] cm H2O/ml/min; median [interquartile range]) than in the normal subjects (0.0.5; [0.03 to 0.07] cm H2O/ml/min) (p = 0.04). The asthmatic, but not the normal subjects, had a significant absolute maximal increase in Rp following cool, dry air (0.10 [0.03 to 0.15] cm H2O/ml/min) (p < 0.01). In the asthmatic subjects, baseline Rp correlated with airways hyperresponsiveness to exercise (r = -0.76, p = 0.03). We conclude that the peripheral airways of asthmatic individuals with EIB are responsive to cool, dry air, and may play an important role in EIB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1784-1790
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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