Purpose of review
Exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) is a noninvasive marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation, therefore, highly informative in asthma. Although FENO measurement is a potentially accessible tool to many physicians, recommendations regarding its clinical utility in diagnosing or tailoring treatment have not reached the expected diffusion. More recently FENO emerged as a biomarker for type-2 asthma phenotyping and a predictor of response to biologics.
The physiological discoveries and relevant acquisitions in clinical practice regarding FENO in asthma are presented. The FENO story draw a wavy path, characterized by promising findings, exciting confirmations and periods of low visibility. FENO emerged as a tool to increase the probability of asthma diagnosis. FENO predicts response to inhaled glucocorticoids (ICS), favoring the development of tailored treatment strategies and unrevealing nonadherence to ICS in difficult-to-treat or uncontrolled asthma. Finally, FENO was associated with a more severe phenotype and became a consolidated biomarker of type-2 inflammation.
FENO demonstrated to be a noninvasive and very reproducible test, encompassing many applications in the field of asthma management. Its routinely use, according to international guidelines, may improve the quality of patient assistance, from difficult-to-treat cases to biologic monitoring.