The ability to predict asthma exacerbations would be useful because it might be possible to intensify therapy and prevent the exacerbation. One proposed tool to predict asthma exacerbations is exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO). The study evaluated whether measurements of FeNO predict subsequent asthma exacerbations.
The study included 103 children aged 6 to 16 years with asthma on daily inhaled corticosteroid controller therapy. At a scheduled follow-up visit, a single FeNO measurement was made (baseline). The children were then followed prospectively for 12 months for asthma exacerbations requiring systemic corticosteroids.
Ten patients (9.7%) had asthma exacerbations. The baseline FeNO was higher in children who went on to have exacerbations (median 41 ppb, interquartile range 33–71 ppb) than in those who did not (median 13, interquartile range 9–21 ppb, P < .001). However, there was complete overlap of FeNO values between groups.
The authors concluded that FeNO measurements are “useless in predicting...