Daily ambulatory exhaled nitric oxide measurements in asthma


Mariëlle W Pijnenburg, Department of Pediatrics/Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Centre – Sophia Children's Hospital, PO Box 2060, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 10 4636263
Fax: +31 10 4636772
E-mail: m.pijnenburg@erasmusmc.nl


Exhaled NO (FENO) is a non-invasive, validated marker for asthmatic airway inflammation. Recently, a new hand-held NO-analyzer has been developed which makes it possible to monitor FENO at home. We assessed feasibility and analyzed variability of daily FENO home measurements. Twenty-one asthmatics (mean age 14.5 yr; range 8–25 yr) participated. Nineteen used a stable dose of inhaled corticosteroids and all of them were in a stable clinical condition. FENO was measured twice daily for 14 consecutive days. Measurements and symptom scores were recorded on a smart card in the analyzer. Symptom score items included well-being, wheeze, activity, and nocturnal symptoms. Measurements showed a success rate of 93%. We found a significant diurnal variation in FENO with geometric mean morning levels 14% higher than evening levels (95% CI: 4%–25%; p = 0.013). Individual subjects showed marked fluctuation of FENO. The mean intrasubject coefficient of variation of FENO was 40% for morning and 36% for evening values. FENO and cumulative symptom scores did not correlate. Home FENO measurements are feasible, and offer the possibility to asses airway inflammation on a daily basis. Further study is needed to interpret and evaluate possible benefits of FENO home monitoring.