Publication: Inhaled corticosteroids- effects on biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate and blood in patients newly diagnosed with asthma who smoke
Objective Exposure to cigarette smoke complicates the treatment and management of asthma through a variety of inflammatory effects. This study aimed to investigate the differences between newly diagnosed cases of asthma in smokers and nonsmokers in terms of localized and systemic biomarkers following treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or ICS in combination with a long-acting beta 2 agonist (LABA). Methods Specimens of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) from newly diagnosed patients with asthma were used to quantify inflammation in the airways, while blood samples were used to assess systemic inflammation. In both samples, the levels of IL-6, LTB4, LTD4, and 8-isoprostane were measured and these were repeated after 3 months of treatment with ICS or ICS + LABA. Results Of the 20 patients, 10 (50%) were nonsmokers with asthma (NSA) and 10 (50%) smokers with asthma (SA). There was no statistically significant difference in the blood or EBC levels of IL-6, LTB4, LTD4, or 8-isoprostane between the groups prior to treatment. Only the decrease in 8-isoprostane level in the EBC samples was found to be significantly greater in the NSA group after treatment (for smokers, the change was 2.91 +/- 23.22, while for nonsmokers it was -22.72 +/- 33.12, p = 0.022). Post-treatment asthma control was significantly better in the NSA group (p = 0.033). Conclusion Monitoring the alterations in 8-isoprostane levels in EBC in patients with asthma who smoke may be helpful in deciding on therapeutic management and switching treatments. Asthma control was better in nonsmokers than in smokers.