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Nitric oxide for asthma measurement feasible for GPs

Use of exhaled nitric oxide to measure inflammation in patients with asthma is feasible in general practice.

The technique, more commonly reserved for research purposes, was tested in a 12-week pilot in patients attending a primary care asthma clinic.

Staff were able to carry out FeNO testing with little training and the vast majority of patients were able to perform the test.

FeNO readings over time were found to be associated with changes in lung function and health status.

The researchers hope it may become a better way to determine when patients need control with inhaled corticosteroids.

But further research is needed to assess clinical and cost-effectiveness, the General Practice Airways Group investigators said.

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