Author(s): Dixon AE, Pratley RE, Forgione PM, Kaminsky DA, WhittakerLeclair LA,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Asthma in obese subjects is poorly understood, and these patients are often refractory to standard therapy. OBJECTIVES: We sought to gain insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of asthma in obese subjects by determining how obesity and bariatric surgery affect asthma control, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and markers of asthmatic inflammation. METHODS: We performed a prospective study of (1) asthmatic and nonasthmatic patients undergoing bariatric surgery compared at baseline and (2) asthmatic patients followed for 12 months after bariatric surgery. RESULTS: We studied 23 asthmatic and 21 nonasthmatic patients undergoing bariatric surgery. At baseline, asthmatic patients had lower FEV(1) and forced vital capacity and lower numbers of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. After surgery, asthmatic participants experienced significant improvements in asthma control (asthma control score, 1.55 to 0.74; P < .0001) and asthma quality of life (4.87 to 5.87, P < .0001). Airways responsiveness to methacholine improved significantly (methacholine PC(20), 3.9 to 7.28, P = .03). There was a statistically significant interaction between IgE status and change in airways responsiveness (P for interaction = .01). The proportion of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and the production of cytokines from activated peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells increased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: Bariatric surgery improves AHR in obese asthmatic patients with normal serum IgE levels. Weight loss has dichotomous effects on airway physiology and T-cell function typically involved in the pathogenesis of asthma, suggesting that obesity produces a unique phenotype of asthma that will require a distinct therapeutic approach. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Allergy Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine