Methacholine challenge testing: Safety of low starting FEV1

Richard J. Martin, Jack S. Wanger, Charles G. Irvin, Becki Bucher Bartelson, Reuben M. Cherniack, Jeffrey M. Drazen, Elliot Israel, Stanley J. Szefler, Vernon M. Chinchilli, Elizabeth A. Manger, Robert F. Lemanske, Christine Sorkness, Jean G. Ford, Diane McLean, Samy Nochman, James E. Fish, Stephen P. Peters, Homer A. Bonshey, Steven C. Lazarus, John FahyReuben R. Cherniack, Suzanne S. Hurd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Study objective: The lower limit for the baseline value to initiate methacholine bronchial hyperresponsiveness testing has not been well established. Recommendations have varied from > 1 L to above 80% of predicted. The objective was to determine if an FEV1 <60% predicted was acceptable. Design: Retrospective analysis of challenges in 88 patients with a baseline FEV1 of <60% predicted (mean=45.8%; range, 22 to 59%. Setting: Academic institutions. Results: There were only four individuals whose FEV1 did not return to >90% of baseline following one poststudy β2-agonist treatment. All four responded to a second treatment. There were no adverse sequelae following challenge in any individual. Neither age (up to 79 years) nor gender influenced outcome. Conclusions: In chronic moderate to severe asthma, it appears that bronchial hyperresponsiveness testing can be safely performed even in those patients with a low baseline FEV1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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