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The effects of long-term glucocorticoid therapy on chemical mediator and cellular reaction in the airways were examined in 69 patients with bronchial asthma. The histamine release induced by Ca ionophore A23187 from cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of atopic asthmatics was significantly lower in the subgroup with steroid-dependent intractable asthma (SDIA) than in non-SDIA patients (p < 0.05). In contrast, histamine release in nonatopic SDIA patients did not differ from nonatopic non-SDIA patients. The release of leukotriene C4 (LTC4) was significantly lower in atopic patients with SDIA (p < 0.02). However, there was no significant difference in LTC4 release between nonatopic patients with SDIA and without SDIA. The proportion of BAL lymphocytes was significantly lower in atopic patients with SDIA than in those without it (p < 0.05), although there was no significant difference between the nonatopic patients with and without SDIA. These results show that glucocorticoids affect humoral and cellular events in the airways of atopic asthmatics more than in those of nonatopic asthmatics.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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