Methacholine inhalation challenge has become an accepted test to determine the presence of airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark of asthma. To help physicians interpret the results of a methacholine challenge test in a clinical setting, we analyzed the test data of 1,105 subjects, asthmatics and nonasthmatics. Applying Bayes' theorem, a nomogram was constructed incorporating the prechallenge clinical diagnosis with the response to methacholine to give a posttest probability of the diagnosis of asthma. The resulting curves represent different levels of cumulative breath units at which a methacholine challenge can be considered positive. The results of a methacholine challenge test, in association with a physician's clinical assessment, can be a valuable tool in the diagnosis of asthma in those patients with an atypical history and/or physical examination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine