Inhaled airway challenges provoke bronchoconstriction in susceptible subjects and are a pivotal tool in the diagnosis and monitoring of obstructive lung diseases, both in the clinic and in the development of new respiratory medicines. This article reviews the main challenge agents that are in use today (methacholine, mannitol, adenosine, allergens, endotoxin) and emphasises the importance of controlling how these agents are administered. There is a danger that the optimal value of these challenge agents may not be realised due to suboptimal inhaled delivery; thus considerations for effective and reproducible challenge delivery are provided. This article seeks to increase awareness of the importance of precise delivery of inhaled agents used to challenge the airways for diagnosis and research, and is intended as a stepping stone towards much-needed standardisation and harmonisation in the administration of inhaled airway challenge agents.
Lexmond, A. J., Singh, D., Frijlink, H. W., Clarke, G. W., Page, C. P., Forbes, B., & van den Berge, M. (2018, April 1). Realising the potential of various inhaled airway challenge agents through improved delivery to the lungs. Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pupt.2018.01.004