An interesting scientific article for winter season was recently published by Marieann Högman and colleagues from Sweden who performed an extended NO analysis in elite junior cross-country skiers before and after a maximum oxygen uptake (V̇O2-max) test using roller skis. Among the 25 investigated skiers, 8 suffered from asthma, of which 5 stated to use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) occasionally.

NO analysis was performed with the ANALYZER CLD 88 sp according to ATS/ERS 2005 recommendations. NO dynamics were modelled based on the non-linear method at exhalation flows of 20, 100 and 300 ml/s and the linear method at exhalation flows of 100, 200 and 300 ml/s. SPIROWARE® Software was used including the Högman-Meriläinen algorithm for the non-linear and the Tsoukias and George algorithm for the linear method.

When comparing the asthmatic skiers with the non-asthmatic skiers no significant difference was found before the maximum oxygen uptake test, although the NO diffusion capacity over the airway wall (DawNO) was strongly increased in both groups in contrast to non-athletes. After the V̇O2-max test several parameters were significantly changed from the baseline NO parameters. The most interesting finding was that the majority of skiers showed an increase in DawNO after the V̇O2-max test.

From the literature it is known that an elavated DawNO is found in allergic asthma and accompanied by an elevated NO content in the airway wall (CawNO). The lack of an elevated CawNO in the analyzed skiers indicates that there is no airway inflammation, so that it can be concluded that the asthma observed in the cross-country skiers does not resemble the allergic asthma in non-athletes. Therefore, the authors recommend to further analyse the airway inflammation before prescribing ICS for skiers.

Link to article: Differences in NO airway diffusion after V̇O2-max test in asthmatic and non-asthmatic elite junior cross-country skiers