The significance of eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthma
Pavord ID., Green RH., Berry MA., Brightling CE., Wardlaw AJ.
The development of non-invasive methods to assess airway inflammation in asthma has made it possible to relate inflammation to other features of the disease in large and heterogeneous populations. Studies have shown that eosinophilic airway inflammation is not always present in asthma nor is it an exclusive feature of asthma. Moreover studies with humanised monoclonal antibodies to IL-5 have shown that eosinophilic airway inflammation can be disassociated from symptoms and disordered airway function. These features may be more closely linked to the presence of mast cells within the airway smooth muscle. Eosinophilic airway inflammation is associated with corticosteroid-responsive disease and there is increasing evidence that it is important in the genesis of asthma exacerbations. Thus it appears that different aspects of the lower airway inflammatory response are important in the genesis of the different manifestations of asthma.