What is the role of bronchoprovocation testing in patients with asthma symptoms?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Bronchoprovocation testing with either methacholine or histamine is useful when spirometry findings are normal or near normal, especially in patients with intermittent or exercise-induced asthma symptoms. Bronchoprovocation testing helps determine if airway hyperreactivity is present, and a negative test result usually excludes the diagnosis of asthma. Methacholine is a direct stimulant that acts directly on acetylcholine receptors on smooth muscle, causing contraction and airway narrowing. Methacholine has been reported to have a high sensitivity to identify airway hyperresponsiveness and a negative test is often used to exclude asthma.


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