The mechanism of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) was studied by observing the protective effects of several aerosol agents in a double-blind, randomised trial. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction was not affected by placebo, but was reduced by each agent used (p less than 0.001). Blocking the parasympathetic system had the weakest effect, while beta 2 adrenergic stimulation produced the strongest effect which was significantly different from the parasympatholytic (p less than 0.02). The effect of the mast cell stabilizer, sodium cromoglycate (SCG) was found to be intermediate. However in some patients SCG had a stronger effect than the beta 2 adrenergic agonist. A relationship was found between EIB and bronchial hyperreactivity induced by histamine (p less than 0.05).
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