Probability of asthma based on methacholine challenge

E. M. Palmeiro, R. J. Hopp, R. E. Biven, A. K. Bewtra, N. N. Nair, R. G. Townley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Methacholine inhalation challenge has become an accepted test to determine the presence of airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark of asthma. To help physicians interpret the results of a methacholine challenge test in a clinical setting, we analyzed the test data of 1,105 subjects, asthmatics and nonasthmatics. Applying Bayes' theorem, a nomogram was constructed incorporating the prechallenge clinical diagnosis with the response to methacholine to give a posttest probability of the diagnosis of asthma. The resulting curves represent different levels of cumulative breath units at which a methacholine challenge can be considered positive. The results of a methacholine challenge test, in association with a physician's clinical assessment, can be a valuable tool in the diagnosis of asthma in those patients with an atypical history and/or physical examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-633
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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