Open Access Research article

Parameters of lung inflammation in asthmatic as compared to healthy children in a contaminated city

Benigno Linares Segovia126*, Gabriela Cortés Sandoval1, Norma Amador Licona3, Juan Manuel Guízar Mendoza4, Estela Núñez Lemus1, Diana Olivia Rocha Amador5, Xóchitl Sofía Ramírez Gómez1 and Rebeca Monroy Torres1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine and Nutrition, Division of Health Sciences, University of Guanajuato, León, Guanajuato, México

2 Department of Teaching and Research PEMEX Regional Hospital Salamanca, Salamanca, Guanajuato, México

3 UMAE HE 1, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Leon, Guanajuato, México

4 Universidad De La Salle Bajío, León, Guanajuato, México

5 Department of Pharmacy, Division of Natural Sciences, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, México

6 Department of Medicine and Nutrition, University of Guanajuato, 20 de Enero #929, Col. Obregón, León, Guanajuato Z.C. 37320, México

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2014, 14:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-111

Published: 8 July 2014



The impact of air pollution on the respiratory system has been estimated on the basis of respiratory symptoms and lung function. However; few studies have compared lung inflammation in healthy and asthmatics children exposed to high levels of air pollution. The aim of the study was to elucidate the modulatory effect of air pollution on Cysteinyl-leukotrienes (Cys-LTs) levels in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) among healthy and asthmatic children.


We performed a cross-sectional comparative study. Children between 7–12 years of age, asthmatics and non-asthmatics, residents of a city with high levels of PM10 were included. In all cases, forced spirometry, Cys-LTs levels in EBC, and the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire were evaluated. We also obtained average of PM10, CO, SO2 and O3 levels during the period of the study by the State Institute of Ecology.


We studied 103 children (51 asthmatics and 52 non-asthmatics). Cys-LTs levels were higher in asthmatics than in non-asthmatics (77.3 ± 21.6 versus 60.3 ± 26.8 pg/ml; p = 0.0005). Also, Cys-LTs levels in children with intermittent asthma were lower than in children with persistent asthma (60.4 ± 20.4 versus 84.7 ± 19.2 pg/ml; p = 0.0001). In the multiple regression model, factors associated with levels of Cys-LTs were passive smoking (β = 13.1, p 0.04) and to be asthmatic (β = 11.5, p 0.03).


Cys-LTs levels are higher in asthmatic children than in healthy children in a contaminated city and its levels are also associated with passive smoking.

Air pollution; Lung inflammation; Cysteinyl-leukotrienes; Exhaled breath condensate