Table 4

Comparison of clinical, treatment, sputum and blood characteristics between two visits with no ICS or a stable dose of ICS

Patients with no ICS or a stable dose of ICS, visit 1 (N=63)Patients with no ICS or a stable dose of ICS, visit 2 (N=63)P value
ACQ1.7±1.11.7±1.20.91
Mini-AQLQ4.7±1.34.8±1.50.42
Number of severe exacerbations in the previous year*0.8±0.3†0.7±0.3†0.52
Prebronchodilator FEV1, % predicted87.1±18.987.4±19.90.85
PC20M, mg/mL2.62 (0.60–14.97)‡2.99 (0.20->16)‡0.94
ICS dose, beclomethasone equivalents800 (0–2000)800 (0–2000)
LABA, n (%)42 (67)44 (70)0.69
LTRA, n (%)14 (22)15 (24)1.0
Theophylline, n (%)2 (3)2 (3)1.0
Antihistamine, n (%)13 (21)11 (17)0.75
FENO, ppb26 (14-48)§24 (12-48)§0.93
Sputum total non-squamous cell count, × 106/g1.10 (0.45–2.40)1.29 (0.43–2.53)0.64
 Sputum viability, %66 (47–80)63 (49–80)0.90
 Sputum squamous cells, %15 (7–28)16 (3–32)0.86
Sputum eosinophils
 × 103/g18 (2–168)36 (3–149)0.78
 % of non-squamous cells1.6 (0.2–17.8)1.8 (0.5–13.0)0.53
Sputum neutrophils
 × 103/g468 (144–1954)497 (214–1270)0.99
 % of non-squamous cells45.0 (26.6–76.0)61.0 (33.6–81.0)0.041
Sputum macrophages
 × 103/g222 (122–663)237 (74–516)0.09
 % of non-squamous cells23.2 (13.4–46.6)20.0 (9.8–34.0)0.011
Sputum lymphocytes
 × 103/g11 (2–35)10 (1–34)0.52
 % of non-squamous cells1.2 (0.4–2.8)0.8 (0.3–1.8)0.17
Sputum epithelial cells
 × 103/g50 (16–95)36 (10–96)0.83
 % of non-squamous cells5.2 (1.6–9.8)2.6 (1.0–9.5)0.52
Blood leucocytes, × 109/L7.82 (6.70–8.94)8.03 (6.52–9.15)0.62
Blood eosinophils
 /µL198 (132–342)248 (120–471)0.10
 %2.7 (1.6–4.3)2.9 (1.6–6.8)0.09
Blood neutrophils
 /µL4221 (3473–5177)4380 (3540–5395)0.80
 %55.5 (50.4–61.0)55.9 (49.5–63.6)0.96
Blood monocytes
 /µL568 (413–672)543 (402–702)0.49
 %6.9 (5.1–8.9)6.9 (5.3–8.3)0.91
Blood lymphocytes
 /µL2520 (2091–2900)2404 (1932–2873)0.28
 %31.4 (26.9–35.7)30.1 (24.2–36.1)0.27
Blood basophils
 /µL38 (23–53)38 (23–53)0.69
 %0.5 (0.3–0.6)0.5 (0.3–0.7)0.91
CRP, mg/L1.5 (0.7–3.8)¶2.4 (0.8–5.3)¶0.33
Fibrinogen, g/L3.6 (3.1–3.8)**3.7 (3.3–4.4)**0.10
  • *Data are presented as mean±SEM.

  • Data available for both visits in: †26, ‡24, §54, ¶41 and **36 patients.

  • ACQ, Asthma Control Questionnaire; AQLQ, Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire; CRP, C reactive protein; FENO, fractional exhaled nitric oxide; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s; ICS, inhaled corticosteroid; LABA, long-acting β2 agonist; LTRA, leukotriene receptor antagonist; PC20M, provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1; ppb, parts per billion.