Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (or other combinations with airway or hyperreactivity) is a state characterised by easily triggered bronchospasm (contraction of the bronchioles or small airways).
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness can be assessed with a bronchial challenge test. This most often uses products like methacholine or histamine. These chemicals trigger bronchospasm in normal individuals as well, but people with bronchial hyperresponsiveness have a lower threshold.
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness is a hallmark of asthma but also occurs frequently in people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the Lung Heart Study, bronchial hyperresponsiveness was present in approximately two-thirds of patients with non-severe COPD, and this predicted lung function decline independently of other factors. In asthma it tends to be reversible with bronchodilator therapy, while this is not the case in COPD.
Other articles related to "bronchial hyperresponsiveness":
... Bronchial hyperresponsiveness, is a characteristic of asthma and refers to the increased sensitivity of the airways in response to an inhaled constrictor agonist ... In COPD, the presence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness predicts a worse course of the disease ... It is not known if bronchial hyperresponsiveness is a cause or a consequence of COPD ...