Eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma


INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY, vol.147, no.1, pp.1-5, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Background: Eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma causes chronic coughs without the physiologic features of asthma. The aim of this study was to review the clinical features, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of this condition. Methods: The current literature was reviewed using Pubmed for all studies published in the English language using the search term 'eosinophilic bronchitis'. Results: Eosinophilic bronchitis presents as normal spirometry, without evidence of airway hyperresponsiveness, and normal peak expiratory flow variability. When compared with asthma, mast cell recruitment to the superficial airways and mast cell activation appear to be a feature of eosinophilic bronchitis. In contrast, mast cell infiltration in the smooth muscle is significantly higher in asthma patients than in either eosinophilic bronchitis patients or healthy control subjects. In this condition, the absence of high IL-13 expression can contribute to the normal airway reactivity. The cough usually responds well to inhaled corticosteroids but dose and duration of treatment remain unclear. The condition can be transient, episodic or persistent unless treated, and occasionally, patients may require long-term treatment with oral corticosteroids. Conclusions: The condition is an important cause of chronic coughs which are corticosteroid responsive. The study of eosinophilic bronchitis suggests that eosinophil-dependent mechanisms are generally not important in the pathogenesis of asthma