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The effects of concomitant GERD, dyspepsia, and rhinosinusitis on asthma symptoms and FeNO in asthmatic patients taking controller medications

Authors Ishizuka T, Hisada T, Kamide Y, Aoki H, Seki K, Honjo C, Sakai H, Kadowaki M, Umeda Y, Morikawa M, Anzai M, Ameshima S, Ishizaki T, Dobashi K, Yamada M, Kusano M

Received 30 April 2014

Accepted for publication 30 June 2014

Published 5 September 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 131—139


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Tamotsu Ishizuka,1,2 Takeshi Hisada,2 Yosuke Kamide,2 Haruka Aoki,2 Kaori Seki,2 Chisato Honjo,1 Hiroyuki Sakai,1 Maiko Kadowaki,1 Yukihiro Umeda,1 Miwa Morikawa,1 Masaki Anzai,1 Shingo Ameshima,1 Takeshi Ishizaki,1 Kunio Dobashi,2 Masanobu Yamada,2 Motoyasu Kusano3

1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui, 2Department of Medicine and Molecular Science, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3Department of Endoscopy and Endoscopic Surgery, Gunma University Hospital, Maebashi, Japan

Background: Losing the sense of smell, which suggests eosinophilic rhinosinusitis, is a subjective symptom, sometimes reported in asthmatic patients taking controller medication. Upper abdominal symptoms, suggesting gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or functional dyspepsia, occur also in these patients. However, the relationship between these symptoms, concomitant with asthma, and the intensity of eosinophilic airway inflammation remains obscure.
Objective: To assess the symptoms of asthma and rhinosinusitis, and to examine the relationship between the symptoms and bronchial inflammation, a new questionnaire, the G scale, was developed. To investigate the effects of GERD, dyspepsia, and rhinosinusitis on asthma symptoms and bronchial inflammation, the symptoms of asthma and rhinosinusitis obtained by the G scale, upper abdominal symptoms obtained by the modified F scale, a questionnaire for GERD and dyspepsia, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) were analyzed.
Methods: A prospective, observational study was performed in four hospitals in Gunma prefecture, and a retrospective analysis was done using data obtained from five hospitals in Gunma prefecture and Fukui prefecture, Japan. A total of 252 patients diagnosed as having asthma participated in the prospective study.
Results: The frequency of daytime phlegm or losing the sense of smell had a positive correlation with FeNO levels in asthmatic patients taking controller medication. Upper abdominal symptoms, as well as symptoms suggesting rhinitis, were well correlated with asthma symptoms. However, neither upper abdominal symptoms nor rhinitis symptoms increased FeNO levels, which reflect eosinophilic airway inflammation during treatment for asthma. On the other hand, the degree of upper abdominal symptoms or dyspepsia symptoms had a weak but significant negative correlation with FeNO levels.
Conclusion: Daytime phlegm and losing the sense of smell suggest that eosinophilic airway inflammation persists, despite anti-inflammatory therapy, in patients with asthma. Although rhinitis and GERD made the subjective symptoms of asthma worse, they did not seem to enhance eosinophilic airway inflammation.

Keywords: asthma symptoms, FeNO, rhinosinusitis, GERD, dyspepsia

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