Differential effects of methacholine and antigen challenge on gas exchange in allergic subjects

Reto Olgiati, Stephen Birch, Aswath Rao, Adam Wanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In order to better characterize the differential effects of nonspecific and specific (antigen) bronchial challenge on gas exchange, seven ragweed-sensitive subjects with a history of asthma underwent progressive inhalation challenge with methacholine and ragweed extract on two different days. For comparable severity of bronchospasm (mean specific airway conductance 0.05 sec-1cm-1H2O for methacholine and 0.06 sec-1cm-1H2O for ragweed), there was a greater decrease in mean arterial oxygen saturation after ragweed (4.7%) than after methacholine challenge (2.7%) (p < 0.05). While this was not accompanied by differences in static lung volumes, the density-dependent index decreased by 19% after ragweed (p < 0.001) but remained unchanged after methacholine challenge. These results suggest that a greater involvement of peripheral airways in the bronchospastic response is, at least in part, responsible for the greater decrease in arterial oxygen saturation after ragweed challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-329
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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