1181 Non-eosinophilic asthma: Importance and possible mechanisms

Monday, 6 December 2010
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Non-eosinophilic asthma: importance and possible
Aim: To study the aetiology of asthma  including the underlying inflammatory profiles. 
Introduction: Asthma  is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized
by variable and recurring symptoms, airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm.  Symptoms include
wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. 
There is increasing evidence that inflammatory mechanisms other than eosinophilic 
inflammation may be involved in producing the final common pathway of enhanced bronchial 
reactivity and reversible airflow obstruction that characterises asthma. A review of the literature 
has shown that, at most, only 50% of asthma cases are attributable to eosinophilic airway 
inflammation. It is hypothesised that a major proportion of asthma is based on neutrophilic 
airway inflammation, possibly triggered by environmental exposure to bacterial endotoxin, 
particulate air pollution, and ozone, as well as viral infections. If there are indeed two (or more) 
subtypes of asthma, and if non-eosinophilic (neutrophil mediated) asthma is relatively common, 
this would have major consequences for the treatment and prevention of asthma since most 
treatment and prevention strategies are now almost entirely focused on allergic/eosinophilic 
asthma and allergen avoidance measures, respectively. It is therefore important to study the 
aetiology of asthma further, including the underlying inflammatory profiles. 
Conclusion: Asthma is thus an inflammatory disease caused by the inflammation of bronchioles. 
Also asthma cases are attributable to eosinophilic airway inflammation.
Keywords: Asthma, eosinophilic inflammation, bronchioles.