Methacholine Challenge

Methacholine Challenge

Bronchial provocation (challenge) testing is the most commonly used and accepted approach for evaluating airway hyperresponsiveness (twitchy airways).

A common nonspecific challenge agent used for bronchial provocation is aerosolized methacholine. In this test, the patient inhales an aerosol of one or more concentrations of methacholine. Results of pulmonary function tests (e.g., spirometry and specific conductance) performed before and after the inhalations are used to measure the response.


Performing the Test

  1. You may do this test by performing pulmonary function tests of spirometry or lung volumes and spirometry.
  2. This is a timed test. You will be asked to inhale an aerosol concentration for 2 minutes.
  3. You will then do the pulmonary function test.
  4. You will continue repeating this procedure until the test is completed.
  5. You may have a laryngoscopy done at the end of the test.
  6. If required you will be given a bronchodilator treatment at the end of the test
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