News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Research: Superiority Of New Asthma Test Confirmed


Otago Researchers Confirm Vast Superiority Of New Asthma Test

- Nitric oxide breathalysing allows accurate, quick, and easy diagnosis-

World-first research at the Dunedin School of Medicine which compares new asthma diagnosis technology with conventional tests could revolutionise asthma diagnosis guidelines internationally, researchers believe.

Results of the study just published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine – the world’s leading respiratory medicine research journal - confirm that the new technology is “superior to any of the conventional tests currently used by doctors to diagnose asthma”, says lead author Associate Professor Robin Taylor.

The new technique involves a 10 minute ‘breathalyzer test’ that measures exhaled nitric oxide. Levels of this gas are increased in the breath of patients with asthma and its presence can be used to distinguish asthma from other respiratory conditions, says Professor Taylor, principal investigator of the Otago Respiratory Research Unit. Increased levels of nitric oxide in the breath also occur in patients whose asthma is poorly controlled or inadequately treated, he added.

“Nitric oxide technology was developed in the mid 1990s. We have now applied the technique in the clinical setting. We recently offered the test to GPs in Dunedin who wanted to know whether a patient with cough or wheeze or shortness of breath might have asthma - or some other condition,” he says.

Results in 47 patients showed that compared with all the other conventional tests used to sort out the diagnosis, exhaled nitric oxide measurements were the “most accurate and also the simplest to carry out”, he says.

“Sometimes GPs consider a diagnosis of asthma but are not quite sure. That’s because the same symptoms occur in a range of other conditions such as bronchitis or post-viral bronchial irritation, as well as with asthma. But it is important to know the difference because that influences decisions about treatment - this test lets GPs know that they have got it right. Previously it has been much more of a hit or miss exercise.”

“There has been immense interest in our results from researchers and clinicians in a number of countries. This is a very significant step forward. Asthma is common, but so are other respiratory conditions. It is important to get the diagnosis right.”

Nitric oxide analysers are not yet widely available in New Zealand, but based on the Otago findings it is likely that the new technology will be introduced into clinics and hospitals in major centres over the next two to three years, he says.

Members of the Dunedin research team are also continuing their studies in this area to look at whether exhaled nitric oxide levels can be used to guide GPs about how much “preventer” medication to use to treat asthma, he says.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news