In this issue of CHEST, Gelb and associates (see page 715) discuss some pertinent observations about patients with chronic asthma. Measuring maximum static pleural pressures at different lung volumes (Pst) in 21 patients they noted first a marked loss of lung recoil in patients with moderate (ie, FEV1, 60 to 80% of predicted) and severe disease (ie, FEV1, < 60% of predicted), whereas in patients with mild persistent asthma (ie, FEV1, > 80% of predicted) normal retraction was found. Second, loss of elastic recoil accounted for more than half the reduction in total maximum airflow in these patients. The rest was due to intrinsic airway narrowing. The authors deny emphysema or a decrease in CO diffusion. Third, since retrospective longitudinal FEV1 data obtained over 11 to 16 years proved to be stable, loss of recoil, which was assessed only at the end of the observation period, is interpreted as being a persistent, long-standing, and irreversible feature of this type of asthma.