Airway Inflammation Markers

Last Updated: April 24, 2024

Airway inflammation plays a major part in several diseases like asthma. Several biomarkers related to airway inflammation can play a role in both diagnosis and monitoring these diseases as well as investigating the impact of interventions on the disease process.


Airway inflammation plays an integral role in diseases like asthma. Traditional lung function tests can measure severity, but don’t necessarily examine the underlying process of inflammation that strongly contributes to the disease. That’s where biomarkers can come in.[1] Measuring factors that are involved in the inflammation that causes the disease can help clinicians with diagnosis, tracking disease progress, and possibly optimizing therapy. Measuring markers of airway inflammation can also help scientists get a clearer view of how certain interventions could impact diseases like asthma.

Here are some key biomarkers of airway inflammation:

  • Exhaled nitric oxide: Nitric oxide is produced by cells in the airway in response to inflammatory markers. People with airway inflammation diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder exhale a higher-than-normal amount of nitric oxide, making it a useful biomarker for airway inflammation.[2][3][4]
  • 9-alpha, 11-beta PGF2: This is a metabolite of prostaglandin PGD2, a major inflammatory chemical released by mast cells upon activation. Both PGD2 and 9-alpha, 11-beta PGF2 contract smooth muscle. This effect, along with others, contribute to many of the symptoms of asthma.[5] 9-alpha, 11-beta PGF2 is stable and ultimately eliminated in the urine, making its urinary levels a useful biomarker of airway inflammation.
Examine Database: Airway Inflammation Markers
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  1. ^Samuel H Wedes, Sumita B Khatri, Renliang Zhang, Weijia Wu, Suzy A A Comhair, Sally Wenzel, W Gerald Teague, Elliot Israel, Serpil C Erzurum, Stanley L HazenNoninvasive markers of airway inflammation in asthmaClin Transl Sci.(2009 Apr)
  2. ^Paolo Paredi, Sergei A Kharitonov, Peter J BarnesAnalysis of expired air for oxidation productsAm J Respir Crit Care Med.(2002 Dec 15)
  3. ^S A Kharitonov, D Yates, R A Robbins, R Logan-Sinclair, E A Shinebourne, P J BarnesIncreased nitric oxide in exhaled air of asthmatic patientsLancet.(1994 Jan 15)
  4. ^Mario Malerba, Alessandro Radaeli, Alessia Olivini, Giovanni Damiani, Beatrice Ragnoli, Paolo Montuschi, Fabio L M RicciardoloExhaled nitric oxide as a biomarker in COPD and related comorbiditiesBiomed Res Int.(2014)
  5. ^Christian Domingo, Oscar Palomares, David A Sandham, Veit J Erpenbeck, Pablo AltmanThe prostaglandin D 2 receptor 2 pathway in asthma: a key player in airway inflammationRespir Res.(2018 Sep 29)
Examine Database References
  1. Fish Oil - Neil C Williams, Kirsty A Hunter, Dominick E Shaw, Kim G Jackson, Graham R Sharpe, Michael A JohnsonComparable reductions in hyperpnoea-induced bronchoconstriction and markers of airway inflammation after supplementation with 6·2 and 3·1 g/d of long-chain n-3 PUFA in adults with asthmaBr J Nutr.(2017 May)