Increased Exhaled Nitric Oxide in Wind and Brass Musicians
Playing a wind or brass (W/B) instrument is considered a strenuous activity for the respiratory system. Exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a potential marker of airway inflammation, and the aim of this study was to compare levels of FeNO between W/B musicians to a group of people who did not play these instruments. Eighty-three (41 male) nonsmoking, nonasthmatic subjects, aged between 18 and 60 years, participated in the study. Forty-one played a W/B instrument, and 42 either played a non–wind/ brass (NW/B) instrument or no instrument at all. Subjects completed a respiratory health questionnaire, height and weight mea- surements, skin prick tests (SPTs), and FeNO measurements. FeNO levels were increased in W/B musicians compared to NW/B subjects (23.6 ppb and 18.1 ppb, respectively). After adjusting for age, sex, height, and degree of atopy, this difference approached statistical significance (P 1⁄4 .06). Increased FeNO may indicate subclinical airway inflammation in W/B musicians.