Plasma levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline during and after submaximal exercise in patients with bronchial asthma were investigated. Three groups were studied comprising 10 patients with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), 10 asthmatic patients without EIB and four normal control subjects. Plasma catecholamines were measured at rest, at the end of exercise, and five and 15 minutes after exercise. Changes in airway resistance were assessed by measuring peak expiratory flow rate. Significant differences in catecholamine levels between reacting and non-reacting patients were found. In 10 patients developing EIB adrenaline and noradrenaline levels had risen significantly by the end of exercise and remained elevated up to the fifth minute of recovery. The rise in catecholamine levels in non-reacting asthmatics was insignificant. In control subjects noradrenaline had increased significantly by the end of exercise.
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