• Acetaldehyde;
  • alcohol-induced bronchoconstriction;
  • bronchial responsiveness;
  • methacholine


Bronchial responsiveness to acetaldehyde, a main factor in alcohol-induced bronchoconstriction, and methacholine were compared between 10 subjects with alcohol-induced bronchoconstriction and 16 asthmatic subjects without alcohol sensitivity.

In the alcohol-sensitive group, the geometric mean (geometric sem ( gsem)) of the provocative concentration of methacholine (PC20,meth) and acetaldehyde (PC20,acet) causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second were 0.947 mg·mL-1 ( gsem 0.139) and 21.0 mg·mL-1 ( gsem 0.112), respectively, which were not significantly different from those in the nonalcohol-sensitive group, which were 0.634 mg·mL-1 ( gsem 0.115) and 31.7 mg·mL-1 ( gsem 0.077), respectively. The ratio of airway responsiveness to acetaldehyde relative to methacholine (log PC20,acet/PC20,meth) was 1.345±0.093 (mean±sem) in the alcohol-sensitive group, which was significantly different from the value of 1.699±0.059 in the nonalcohol-sensitive group (p=0.0025). A significant correlation was observed between PC20,meth and PC20,acet in both the alcohol-sensitive group (r=0.742, p=0.0115) and nonsensitive group (r=0.882, p<0.0001).

In conclusion, the airways of asthmatic subjects with alcohol-induced bronchoconstriction have a selective hyperresponsiveness to acetaldehyde.