Changes in airway inflammation by glucocorticoids were examined in 26 patients with bronchial asthma, divided into two age groups ; 20-59 and 60+ years, in relation to serum immunoglobulin levels and peripheral lymphocyte count. 1. The levels of IgG, IgA and IgM were significantly lower in patients with
steroid-dependent intractable asthma (SDIA) of age over 60 years than in those with non-SDIA of the same age group. In patients between the ages of 20 and 59, only serum IgG level was significantly lower in SDIA than in non-SDIA patients. 2. Peripheral lymphocyte count was significantly decreased in SDIA patients than in non-SDIA patients in age group over 60, but not in age group between 20 and 59.
3. Number of lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was significantly lower and number of BAL neutrophils was significantly higher in SDIA patients than
in non-SDIA patients in age group over 60, but not in age group between 20 and 59. These results suggest that levels of IgG, IgA and IgM, and peripheral lymphocyte count were significantly suppressed in SDIA patients of age over 60, accompanied with decrease of BAL lymphocytes and increase of BAL neutrophils.
serum immunoglobulin levels (血清免疫グロブリン値)
bronchial asthma (気管支喘息)