The exhaled Nitric Oxide (eNO) test is used for the diagnosis of respiratory diseases like asthma. It measures the level of nitric oxide gas in the exhaled breath of the patient.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is found in the exhaled breath of all humans. But patients with asthma tend to have high levels of NO in their exhaled breath. The patient is asked to blow air into a breath-analyzer, in order to collect the sample.
2 Reasons for Procedure
Here are the most common reasons to undergo a nitric oxide test for asthma. Asthma is usually diagnosed by analyzing the medical history of the patient followed by a physical exam and certain tests such as peak flow measurement and spirometry tests which are performed for knowing the status lungs.
Sometimes the doctor may recommend tests known as challenge tests, which trigger asthma symptoms and then treat mild asthma. Although, at times the diagnosis may remain uncertain with these tests.
Thus in these cases, the exhaled nitric oxide test may be helpful. Nitric oxide is produced by almost all the organs of the body, including the lungs. It helps in fighting inflammation and relaxing the constricted muscles.
High levels of exhaled nitric oxide are considered to be a sign of asthma. Nitric oxide testing is also done to predict whether steroid medications (which decrease inflammation) are likely to be helpful for your asthma or not. It may also be used by the doctor as a confirmatory test for asthma.
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