Incorporation and analysis of ultrasonically nebulized distilled water challenges in an epidemiologic study of asthma and bronchial reactivity

R. J. Hopp, J. Christy, Againdra K. Bewtra, N. M. Nair, R. G. Townley

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The usefulness of an ultrasonically nebulized distilled water (UNDW) challenge as a screening procedure was tested in an on-going epidemiologic study of asthma and bronchial reactivity. Sixty-six individuals underwent a methacholine challenge, an UNDW challenge, and were administered a standardized respiratory disease questionnaire. To perform the UNDW challenge, subjects inhaled increasing volumes of nebulized distilled water while breathing tidally. Thirty-eight asthmatics, two former asthmatics, 14 normal, and 12 allergic subjects, were included. Sixty-six percent of the asthmatics dropped 20% from their baseline FEV1, during the UNDW challenge. Only one allergic or normal subject had a similar drop. The Pearson's correlation coefficient between methacholine and UNDW challenges was 0.60. If positive, and UNDW seems to be highly specific in supporting a diagnosis of asthma, while methacholine challenges are more useful in verifying the presence of non-specific bronchial reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Allergy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy

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