In this issue of CHEST (see page 1755), Kanazawa and colleagues observe that low levels of a biochemical marker in sputum of asthmatics change toward normal in response to the administration of inhaled corticosteroid (beclomethasone dipropionate [BDP]). They extend the observations to demonstrate a strong relationship of structure (albeit biochemical) and airways function. Since these markers presumably reflect inflammation, reversal in the sputum suggests improvement of the intraluminal inflammatory changes of asthma. Superficially, this is a good work. Read the abstract, comment on the connection of asthma to inflammation, and remember sputum peroxynitrite inhibitory activity (PNIA) for rounds tomorrow! But this is not the end of the story.