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Editorials |

Is the Eosinophil a Leading Villain in Lung Function Decline?Eosinophilic Bronchitis

Christopher E. Brightling, MBBS, PhD, FCCP; Leena George, MBBS
Author and Funding Information

From the Institute for Lung Health, National Institute of Health Research Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Department of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Christopher E. Brightling, MBBS, PhD, FCCP, Institute for Lung Health, Clinical Science Wing, University Hospital of Leicester, Groby Rd, Leicester, LE3 9QP, England; e-mail: ceb17@le.ac.uk


CONFLICT OF INTEREST: C. E. B. has received consultancy and grants through his institution from AstraZeneca/MedImmune, LLC; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Novartis AG; Chiesi Farmaceuti SpA; Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG/Genentech, Inc. None declared (L. G.).

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;148(4):844-846. doi:10.1378/chest.15-0915
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Extract

The eosinophil has been implicated in airways disease from the mid to late 19th century following the identification of Charcot-Leyden crystals as a consequence of eosinophil products in the sputum of patients with asthma. Advances in sputum induction and processing have enabled the reliable assessment of airway inflammation and demonstrate that although an airway eosinophilia is commonly observed in asthma, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for the development of this disease.1 Interestingly, sputum eosinophilia can be observed in COPD in approximately 10% to 15% of patients.1 Early application of sputum assessment in chronic cough also identified that eosinophilic airway inflammation can be present in the absence of airflow obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness and that this nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis (NAEB) is a common cause of chronic cough.2

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