While allergic airway inflammation is known to be the major underlying cause of asthma, there are few methods of measuring it. Evaluating airway inflammation using induced sputum or airway biopsy is expensive, invasive, time consuming, and often not readily available.
Now, there's NIOX®— a family of devices designed to measure airway inflammation at the point of care.
Patients with allergic airway inflammation generally have higher than normal levels of nitric oxide (NO) in their exhaled breath.1 By measuring the concentration of NO in an exhaled breath (fractional exhaled nitric oxide or FeNO), clinicians can evaluate allergic airway inflammation in patients with underlying asthma.
Reasons to obtain a FeNO measurement
Assist in diagnosis1
- Diagnose eosinophilic airway inflammation
- Support the diagnosis of asthma when objective evidence is lacking
- Help determine when respiratory symptoms are not due to asthma
- Determine whether uncontrolled allergic airway inflammation is contributing to poor asthma control
Aid in treatment
- Determine the likelihood of steroid responsiveness1
- Guide stepwise changes in anti-inflammatory medication (step-down dosing, step-up dosing, or discontinuation)1
Assist in monitoring control and adherence1
- Establish baseline FeNO level during a period of clinical stability, which can be subsequently monitored
- Help determine whether patients are adhering to prescribed corticosteroid treatment
References: 1. Dweik RA, Boggs PB, Erzurum SC, et al; on behalf of the American Thoracic Society Committee on Interpretation of Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels (FeNO) for Clinical Applications. An official ATS clinical practice guideline: interpretation of exhaled nitric oxide levels (FeNO) for clinical applications. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;184:602-615. 2. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Expert panel report 3: guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Full report 2007. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.pdf. Published August 28, 2007. Accessed September 13, 2011. 3. Pakhale S, Sumner A, Coyle D et al. (Correcting) misdiagnosis of asthma: a cost effectiveness analysis. BMMC Pulmonary medicine. 2011;11:27.