Researchers from 10 institutions have indicated that adolescent and young adult patients with asthma that is managed according to NIH guidelines do not benefit from the addition of nitric oxide monitoring. These findings contradict the belief that monitoring nitric oxide levels could help improve the management of asthma.

“While nitric oxide monitoring did not improve asthma management, the good news is that most patients can bring their asthma under control by following NIH guidelines which are based on relatively easy-to-measure symptoms and lung function,” says lead author Stanley Szefler MD, head of pediatric clinical pharmacology at National Jewish Health.

The researchers evaluated 546 patients with persistent asthma between 12-10 years of age, all of who reside in inner city neighborhoods.

“Although nitric oxide monitoring did improve overall asthma management, we believe it may still be a useful tool for subsets of patients and in specific circumstances, such as asthma diagnosis, measuring response to inhaled corticosteroid therapy, assessing adherence to corticosteroid therapy, and the safe reduction of inhaled corticosteroid therapy,” says Szefler.

The Lancet will publish the research in the September 20 edition.