1. Lung volumes, airway resistance and flow/volume curves were measured in ten asthmatic subjects at times when tightness in the chest was just sensed (threshold symptom).
2. These measurements when the threshold symptom was induced by methacholine inhalation were compared with those when a similar symptom occurred spontaneously, in the same subjects.
3. Values during the methacholine-induced thresholds were very similar to those observed when threshold symptoms developed spontaneously.
4. Controlled bronchial provocation mimics spontaneous asthma sufficiently well to allow this technique to be used in the study of sensations associated with breathing. This has some advantages over the already established models utilizing external hindrances to breathing.