Ninety-eight subjects underwent methacholine (Mecholyl) aerosol challenge at a concentration of 5 mg/ml. All atopic groups differed significantly in their bronchial response to Mecholyl compared to nonatopic control subjects. Nineteen normal subjects had a mean decrease of 11.4% in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) with 128 Mecholyl inhalations and 2 decreased by greater than 20%. Fifteen of 27 allergic rhinitis patients had a positive response to Mecholyl as defined by a decrease in FEV1 greater than 20%. Four of these responders developed greater diminution in FEV1 response with additional Mecholyl inhalations in a manner similar to that seen in the asthmatic patients. Eighteen current asthmatics showed the greatest bronchial sensitivity to Mecholyl with a mean 33% decrease in FEV1 at 4.5 inhalations. One hundred per cent of current asthmatics and 82% (28 of 34) of former asthmatics (free of asthma symptoms for 1 to 20 yr) showed positive response to Mecholyl. A 20% decrease in FEV1 with a total of 20 inhalations or less is consistent with a diagnosis of "current asthma," and even 20 of 34 former asthmatics responded in this manner. The Mecholyl aerosol test can be used to diagnose previous and current asthma and may be of value in predicting asthma in hay fever patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy