Two studies were carried out to test the hypothesis that the fall and recovery of nasal resistance after exercise in asthmatic and non-asthmatic subjects are related to the development of bronchoconstriction after exercise. In study 1 nasal resistance (posterior rhinomanometry) and specific airway resistance (sRaw) were measured before challenge and one, five, 10 and 30 minutes after four minutes of exhausting legwork exercise in nine asthmatic subjects and nine age matched healthy subjects. One minute after exercise there was a reduction in nasal resistance of 49% (SD 15%) from baseline in the healthy subjects and of 66% (17%) in the asthmatic subjects. This response and the subsequent return of nasal resistance to baseline values did not differ significantly between the two groups despite a substantial difference in the change in sRaw, an increase of 74% (45%) in the asthmatic subjects 10 minutes after exercise, and no change in the non-asthmatic subjects. In study 2, nasal and specific airway resistances were monitored according to the same measurement protocol in six subjects with increased airway reactivity. Subjects exercised on two occasions, wearing a noseclip, once while breathing cold, dry air and once while breathing warm, humid air. The fall in nasal resistance was similar under both conditions (to 47% and 39% of baseline), through sRaw rose only after cold air inhalation (to 172% of baseline). The results indicate that the nasal response to exercise is not related to bronchial obstruction in asthmatic subjects after exercise or to the temperature or humidity of the air inspired through the mouth during exercise.
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