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The fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) has been used as a non-invasive biomarker of airway response to inhaled toxic exposures in both population-based and occupational studies. Results have been mixed, but a compelling finding is the 60% decrease (95% CI 54 to 66) and subsequent 130% increase (95% CI 63 to 225) in FeNO observed in a quasi-experimental study of FeNO in a group of healthy young adult volunteers before, during and after the 2008 Beijing Olympic games air pollution control measures.1 Methodological developments now allow for the assessment of NO from proximal and distal airway compartment sources. The ability to non-invasively differentiate inflammation in two lower respiratory tract compartments may provide a practical method to gain insights into the effects of inhaled toxins. Using this approach, …
Funding This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grants 5R01HL61768 and 5R01HL76647); the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center (grant 5P30ES007048) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Children’s Environmental Health Center (grants 5P01ES009581, R826708-01 and RD831861-01) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grant 5P01ES011627); and the Hastings Foundation.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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