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Changes in bronchial responsiveness to histamine at intervals after allergen challenge.
  1. D W Cockcroft,
  2. K Y Murdock


    Bronchial responsiveness to inhaled histamine was measured two, seven, and 30 hours after allergen inhalation challenge in 19 atopic subjects. The provocative histamine concentrations causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20) at these three times were compared with the baseline value, with values obtained two and seven hours after diluent inhalation, and with those obtained five to seven days after allergen challenge in the 12 late responders. Seven subjects had allergen induced isolated early asthmatic responses (delta FEV1 22.6% (SD 6.6%)) with less than a 5% late fall in FEV1. There was no change in the six histamine PC20 values measured in these seven subjects; the geometric mean PC20 was 1.0-1.3 mg/ml on all six occasions. Twelve subjects had an allergen induced early asthmatic response (delta FEV1 26.3% (9.8%)) followed by a definite (greater than 15% delta FEV1, n = 7) or equivocal (5-15% delta FEV1, n = 5) late asthmatic response. The geometric mean histamine PC20 was not significantly different two hours after allergen inhalation either from baseline (0.67 v 0.78 mg/ml) or from that seen two hours after diluent (0.67 v 0.95). It was significantly reduced at seven (0.24 mg/ml) and at 30 hours (0.44 mg/ml) but had returned to baseline when repeated five to seven days later (0.74 mg/ml). In 10 subjects with a dual response who had a repeat antigen challenge the mean early and late response and delta PC20 at seven and 30 hours were similar. These data show that bronchial responsiveness to a non-allergic stimulus has not increased two hours after allergen inhalation following spontaneous recovery of the early asthmatic response but before the start of the late asthmatic response.

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