The use of induced sputum to evaluate inflammation of the airways in patients with asthma [Abstract in English]

Anna C. Drews, Daniele C. Escouto, Renato T. Stein


Aims: To describe the utility and safety of induced sputum, discussing the advantages and importance of this technique on asthma clinical research.

Source of data: Pubmed data base (from 1985 to

Summary of the finding: The identification of bronchial
mucosa inflammatory pattern by induced sputum analysis
has been helpful since the last decade on the diagnosis and
better comprehension of asthma. It is an accurate, safe and
non-invasive technique, even in children. The success of
the test depends on staff qualification and adequate method
validation. The control of sputum eosinophil counts helps
to predict corticosteroid response and withdraw. It also
contributes to the diagnosis of occupational asthma. Noneosinophilic asthma phenotypes were also identified.
Epidemiologic studies using induced sputum might, in the
future, find a relation between distinct risk factors and
inflammatory features.

Conclusions: Induced sputum allows the analysis of lower airways inflammatory features in a non-invasive
procedure that has been widely used over the last decade. It
has been proved a safe, accurate and viable method, even in
children. Studies analyzing the association between asthma epidemiology and bronchial inflammatory features may lead
to a better understanding of the disease.


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