Comparison of two epidemiological protocols for measuring airway responsiveness and allergic sensitivity in adults
Toelle, BG and Peat, JK and Salome, CM and Crane, J and McMillan, D and Dermand, J and D'Souza, WJ and Woolcock, AJ, Comparison of two epidemiological protocols for measuring airway responsiveness and allergic sensitivity in adults, European Respiratory Journal, 7, (10) pp. 1798-1804. ISSN 0903-1936 (1993) [Refereed Article]
In recent years, airway responsiveness has commonly been measured in epidemiological studies using one of two methods. In one method, histamine is administered via a handheld DeVilbiss nebulizer and in the other, methacholine is administered via a dosimeter. Allergic sensitivity has commonly been measured by either the allergen droplet method or by Phazet. We wanted to assess the comparability of airway responsiveness and of allergic sensitivity measured by both methods. A total of 48 volunteers, including normal and asthmatic subjects, participated in the study. Subjects first underwent one of the two tests of airway responsiveness and allergic sensitivity, and then returned within 10 days to undergo tests using the second protocol. Commencement protocol was allocated in random order. There was good agreement between both methods for assessing airway responsiveness and for assessing allergic sensitivity. The difference for dose response ratio (DRR) between histamine and methacholine was a 1.19 (95% (CI) 0.78, 1.82) fold changes, which was not statistically significant. Agreement between allergic sensitivity methods was perfect for Alternaria tenuis, good for rye-grass (kappa=0.71 and moderate for cat and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Kappa approximately 0.5). It is possible to compare data from epidemiological studies which use these methods.