Comparison of two standardized methods of methacholine inhalation challenge in young adults Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In the European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS), airway responsiveness to methacholine was determined using the Mefar dosimeter protocol. Elsewhere, the 2-min tidal breathing method has become the preferred standardized method. The relationship between measurements of responsiveness by these two methods is not well established. This study measured airway responsiveness to methacholine by dosimeter and tidal breathing methods in 47 healthy asthmatic subjects aged 20-44 yrs. Tests were performed within 1 week and in random order. Baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) varied by <10% between tests in 42/47 subjects. There was a close association between responsiveness determined by the two methods. A provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20) value of < or =8.0 mg x mL(-1) (tidal method) used to categorize airway hyperresponsiveness agreed most closely with a provocative dose of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PD20) value of < or =0.5 mg (dosimeter method) (kappa statistic 0.78). Each doubling or halving of PC20 to define a level of hyperresponsiveness agreed closely with a doubling or halving of PD20. Assessment of airway responsiveness as provocative dose of methacholine causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second by the Mefar dosimeter protocol gave a close and predictable relationship with provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in expiratory volume in one second assessed using the tidal breathing method. Airway hyperresponsiveness as determined by the accepted criterion of provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in expiratory volume in one second < or =8 mg x mL(-1) was best correlated with provocative dose of methacholine causing a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second <0.5 mg by Mefar dosimeter.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000