OBJECTIVE: Evaluate whether exhaled nitric oxide may serve as a marker of intraoperative bronchospasm. INTRODUCTION: Intraoperative bronchospasm remains a challenging event during anesthesia. Previous studies in asthmatic patients suggest that exhaled nitric oxide may represent a noninvasive measure of airway inflammation. METHODS: A total of 146,358 anesthesia information forms, which were received during the period from 1999 to 2004, were reviewed. Bronchospasm was registered on 863 forms. From those, three groups were identified: 9 non-asthmatic patients (Bronchospasm group), 12 asthmatics (Asthma group) and 10 subjects with no previous airway disease or symptoms (Control group). All subjects were submitted to exhaled nitric oxide measurements (parts/billion), spirometry and the induced sputum test. The data was compared by ANOVA followed by the Tukey test and Kruskal-Wallis followed by Dunn’s test. RESULTS: The normal lung function test results for the Bronchospasm group were different from those of the asthma group (p <0.05). The median percentage of eosinophils in induced sputum was higher for the Asthma [2.46 (0.45–6.83)] compared with either the Bronchospasm [0.55 (0–1.26)] or the Control group [0.0 (0)] (p <0.05); exhaled nitric oxide followed a similar pattern for the Asthma [81.55 (57.6–86.85)], Bronchospasm [46.2 (42.0–62.6] and Control group [18.7 (16.0–24.7)] (p< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Non-asthmatic patients with intraoperative bronchospasm detected during anesthesia and endotracheal intubation showed increased expired nitric oxide.