We tested 105 asthmatic children aged 3-7 years with fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), impulse oscillometry (IOS), and AHR evaluated by indirect methods (hypertonic saline and exercise challenge). Ten years later, 64 children participated in the follow-up visit and were tested with FeNO, IOS, spirometry, and methacholine challenge. At both study visits, blood samples were collected, and a questionnaire was completed.
Asthma was in remission in 66% of patients at adolescence. AHR measured by hypertonic saline challenge at preschool age was associated with asthma symptoms (OR 10.2; 95%CI 2.8, 37.3) but not with AHR estimated with methacholine challenge 10 years later. AHR measured by exercise challenge was not associated with AHR or recent asthma symptoms in adolescence. Preschool eosinophilia continued until adolescence in 87% of patients but was not associated with AHR or subjective signs of asthma 10 years later. Wheezy preschoolers with atopy had a higher risk for AHR in adolescence (OR 4.1; 95%CI 1.0, 16.2).
Results from hypertonic saline challenge are associated with persistent asthma symptoms even after a decade. AHR measured by indirect methods at preschool age did not predict AHR in adolescence.
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