In order to determine your eligibility to enter a study, the doctor and the research staff will ask you questions about your medical history and any medications you have been on within the last six months. A physical examination and a series of diagnostic tests will also be conducted. The most common tests performed at our site are, not all participants will complete all of these tests and many studies will not involve some of the more specialized tests listed below:
- Allergen challenge: The purpose of this test is to determine how irritable your airways are to a specific allergen (determined by the allergen skin test). This test requires you to inhale a mist that contains different concentrations of a specific allergen.
- Allergen skin test: Allergen skin testing is used to identify what substances you are allergic to. It is performed by applying an extract of an allergen (e.g. house dust mites, cat hair, dog hair) to your skin (usually forearm), pricking the skin to allow exposure, and then evaluating the skin’s reaction.
- Blood/Urine samples which are collected to ensure your general health is good.
- Methacholine challenge: The purpose of this test is to determine how irritable your airways are and to determine the severity of your asthma. This test requires you to inhale a mist that contains different concentrations of methacholine.
- Health questionnaires: Those questionnaires are designed to help researchers evaluate how you feel about your illness and the quality of life outcomes.
- Spirometry: A short, simple breathing test requiring you to take a deep breath and blowing out hard into a mouthpiece. The spirometer records how much and how fast you blow air out of your lungs. You usually have to do this at least three times to get your best effort.
- Sputum induction: In this test, we will collect a sample of sputum from your lungs. You will be instructed to cough up sputum. In order to help you cough up a good sputum sample, you will inhale a saline mist.
- Vital signs measurements: Height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse.
- Occasionally other more specialized tests such as a CT scan of your chest maybe required.