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Blood Eosinophil and Serum Eosinophil Cationic Protein as a Marker of Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness in Children with Suspected Asthma

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 2002;45(12):1577-1584.
Published online December 15, 2002.
Blood Eosinophil and Serum Eosinophil Cationic Protein as a Marker of Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness in Children with Suspected Asthma
Yang Park1, Hee Kang2, Eun Kyeong Kang2, Young Yull Koh2
1Department of Pediatrics, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Gunpo, Korea
2Department of Pediatrics, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Gunpo, Korea
천식 증상 환아에서 기관지과민성의 지표로서 혈액 내 호산구와 혈청 호산구 양이온 단백(ECP)
박 양1, 강 희2, 강은경2, 고영률2
1원광대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
2서울대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Young Yull Koh, Email: kohyy@plaza.snu.ac.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: Airway inflammation is considered to be a characteristic feature of asthma, and eosinophils are recognized as the most important inflammatory cells. This study aims to assess the importance of blood eosinophil count and serum eosinophil cationic protein(ECP) levels as a non- invasive marker of bronchial hyperresponsiveness(BHR) in children with suspected asthma.
Methods
: This study used data from 87 subjects with asthma-like symptoms(6-18 years old). The FEV1 and provocative concentration producing a 20% fall in FEV1(PC20) on methacholin inhalation challenge test were measured. Four groups were classified based on PC20[Group I : <2 mg/ mL; Group II : 2-8 mg/mL; Group III : 8-18 mg/mL; Group IV : (18 mg/mL], and blood eosinophil count and serum ECP levels were analyzed. In addition, subjects were classified based on the cutoff value of PC20(BHR positive group : <18 mg/mL; BHR negative group : (18 mg/mL). Then blood eosinophil count and serum ECP level were compared between these two groups.
Results
: Likelihood ratio test for trends revealed a significant association between the blood eosinophil count or serum ECP level, and the degree of BHR as measured by methacholine PC20. Blood eosinophil count or serum ECP level was significantly higher in the BHR(+) group than in the BHR(-) group. Blood eosinophil count had a positive correlation with serum ECP level.
Conclusion
: Blood eosinophil count and serum ECP level may be a useful non-invasive clinical marker of BHR in subjects with suspected asthma. This supports the hypothesis that BHR in asthma is a consequence of airway eosinophilic inflammation.
Key Words: Children and Adolescent, Airway Inflammation, Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness, Eosinophil, Eosinophil Cationic Protein, PC20


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