Bilirubin arises from enzymatic reduction by biliverdin reductase of biliverdin, a product of heme oxygenase activity. Recent literature describes that bilirubin is a major physiologic antioxidant that can protect cells from chemical oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide. Recently, it has been reported that oxidative stress may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of asthma. We report a case of complete resolution of persistent difficult-to-control asthma in accordance with increased levels of serum bilirubin due to acute hepatitis B. The present case suggests that anti-oxidative agents might be effective for the treatment of asthma.
2003 Tohoku University Medical Press