Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 1999 Jul;135(1):22-7.

Comparison of albuterol delivered by a metered dose inhaler with spacer versus a nebulizer in children with mild acute asthma.

Author information

Divisions of Emergency, Clinical Pharmacology, Chest, and Clinical Epidemiology, the Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



In children with mild acute asthma, to compare treatment with a single dose of albuterol delivered by a metered dose inhaler (MDI) with a spacer in either a weight-adjusted high dose or a standard low-dose regimen with delivery by a nebulizer.


In this randomized double-blind trial set in an emergency department, 90 children between 5 and 17 years of age with a baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1 ) between 50% and 79% of predicted value were treated with a single dose of albuterol, either 6 to 10 puffs (n = 30) or 2 puffs (n = 30) with an MDI with spacer or 0.15 mg/kg with a nebulizer (n = 30).


No significant differences were seen between treatment groups in the degree of improvement in percent predicted FEV1 (P =.12), clinical score, respiratory rate, or O2 saturation. However, the nebulizer group had a significantly greater change in heart rate (P =.0001). Our study had 93% power to detect a mean difference in percent predicted FEV1 of 8 between the treatment groups.


In children with mild acute asthma, treatment with 2 puffs of albuterol by an MDI with spacer is just as clinically beneficial as treatment with higher doses delivered by an MDI or by a nebulizer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center