Korean J Asthma Allergy Clin Immunol.  2012 Mar;32(1):34-42.

Longitudinal Changes in Lung Functions in Adult Asthmatics Treated with Medications


Lung functions in asthmatics may depend on various factors: reversible airway obstruction, irreversible airway obstruction associated with airway remodeling, more rapid decline in lung functions than non-asthmatics, and medication effect on decline in lung functions. This study aimed to investigate longitudinal changes in lung functions in adult asthmatics.
Fifty-one adult asthmatics were included in the study. Their medical records were retrospectively reviewed. Lung functions were obtained at baseline, and visits 1, 2, 3 and 4, with intervals of 10~15 months. Asthmatics were classified into those with forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)> or =80% predicted (normal lung function) and those with FEV1<80% (decreased lung function) in reference to baseline lung functions.
Annual decline rates of FEV1 were -12.4+/-10.1 mL/yr in all asthmatics, -25.9+/-12.6 mL/yr in asthmatics with normal lung functions, and 14.7+/-13.8 mL/yr in asthmatics with decreased lung functions. FEV1 did not significantly change at visits 1, 2, 3 and 4 compared to the baseline value in all asthmatics and asthmatics with normal or decreased lung functions. FEV1 values at visits 1, 2, 3, and 4 decreased only in 8.3+/-~ 18.2% of asthmatics with normal lung functions and normalized only in 16.7%~30% of asthmatics with decreased lung functions.
In adult asthmatics treated with medications, irreversible airway obstruction may not occur in those with normal lung functions, while reduced functions may not normalize in those with decreased lung functions, in whom airway remodeling may have occurred early in the disease state.

MeSH Terms

Airway Obstruction
Airway Remodeling
Forced Expiratory Volume
Longitudinal Studies
Medical Records
Respiratory Function Tests
Retrospective Studies
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