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Additional resources for Expert Panel report 2 : guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma (SuDoc HE 20.3208:AS 8 9)

Example text

Interleukin-5 travels to the bone marrow and causes terminal differentiation of eosinophils. Circulating eosinophils enter the area of allergic inflammation and begin migrating to the lung by rolling, through interactions with selectins, and eventually adhering to endothelium through the binding of integrins to members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of adhesion proteins: vascular-cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). As the eosinophils enter the matrix of the airway through the influence of various chemokines and cytokines, their survival is prolonged by interleukin-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

Although these results were statistically significant, their clinical relevance is debatable. Sherrill and coworkers (2003) reanalyzed the data from the Tucson Epidemiologic Study of Airway Obstructive Disease. A total of 2,926 subjects, with longitudinal data for lung function assessed in up to 12 surveys spanning a period of up to 20 years, were included. They found that, unlike subjects who had a diagnosis of COPD, in those who had diagnosis of longstanding asthma, FEV1 did not decline at a more rapid rate than normal.

Airway remodeling involves an activation of many of the structural cells, with consequent permanent changes in the airway that increase airflow obstruction and airway responsiveness and render the patient less responsive to therapy (Holgate and Polosa 2006). These structural changes can include thickening of the sub-basement membrane, subepithelial fibrosis, airway smooth muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia, blood vessel proliferation and dilation, and mucous gland hyperplasia and hypersecretion (box 2–2).

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