In recent years induced sputum analysis has become a non-invasive method for the assessment of airway inflammation in obstructive airway diseases. Sputum induction is safe and well tolerated by the patients. The method has been standardized, and this has markedly improved the quality and reproducibility of sputum samples. Identification of sputum eosinophilia has the greatest clinical relevance as it predicts a favorable response to corticosteroids. Treatment strategy aiming normalisation of sputum eosinophil cell count may reduce the rate of exacerbations in asthma. Profiling inflammatory mediators in sputum supernatant provides new insights into the pathogenesis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cell type analysis in spontaneous sputum may also provide much information about inflammatory processes in the airways. Based on the results of clinical studies sputum analysis should be more often used in clinical settings in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas