Obstructive, occupational, and environmental diseasesAdvances in methods used in evaluation of occupational asthmaCampo, Paloma; Lummus, Zana L; Bernstein, David IAuthor Information Division of Immunology-Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Correspondence to David I. Bernstein, MD, Division of Immunology - Allergy Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0563, USA Tel: 513 558 3612; fax: 513 558 3799; e-mail: [email protected] Dr. P. Campo is performing research in the University of Cincinnati Allergy Laboratory under the auspices of a FIS/Fulbright Scholarship Grant. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: March 2004 - Volume 10 - Issue 2 - p 142-146 Buy Abstract Purpose of review Diagnosing occupational asthma (OA) is a complex undertaking, the primary goal of which is to demonstrate a causal relation between exposure to a specific agent encountered at work and asthmatic responses. Recent development or refinement of diagnostic tools may improve the diagnostic accuracy, which may have important economic and social consequences for both employers and workers. Recent findings Although specific inhalation challenge (SIC) testing is the gold standard for diagnosis of OA, these tests are not widely available in many countries. Thus, new less invasive techniques used in the measurement of airway inflammation, such as exhaled nitric oxide and induced sputum are highlighted as are recent developments in both in vivo and in vitro immunologic testing. Summary Although new perspectives are being evaluated, the diagnosis of occupational asthma still relies mostly on specific inhalation challenge. Further studies are required to confirm the utility of these new techniques in the diagnosis of OA. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.