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J Aerosol Med. 1999 Fall;12(3):177-85.

Large and small airway responses to procaterol hydrochloride administered through different extension devices in asthmatic patients.

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Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica, Università di Firenze, Florence, Italy.


The effects of spacer devices on the magnitude and velocity of large and small airway bronchodilator responses in asthmatic patients who can correctly operate a metered dose inhaler (MDI) remain unclear. According to a double-blinded, randomized, crossover protocol, 14 asthmatic patients were studied on seven separate occasions. On each occasion, patients inhaled doubling methacholine concentrations until forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) had fallen by 20% of baseline. Changes in forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity (FEF25-75) were also evaluated. Subsequently, patients were administered 20 or 50 micrograms of procaterol from an MDI either alone or in conjunction with a small- or large-volume spacer device. Changes in FEV1 and FEF25-75 corrected for baseline forced vital capacity (isoFEF25-75) were assessed at 3-minute intervals for 15 minutes and at 30 minutes. Spontaneous recovery was similarly evaluated. The time required to attain significant increases in both FEV1 and isoFEF25-75 was calculated in bronchodilator trials. With 20 micrograms of procaterol, both spacers allowed larger and faster FEV1 increases than the MDI alone (P < 0.01); with 50 micrograms, the velocity and magnitude of FEV1 increases were further enhanced in trials with the MDI alone. The lower procaterol dose via the large-volume spacer determined larger and faster isoFEF25-75 increases than the higher dose via both the small-volume spacer and the MDI alone (P < 0.01). Spacers enhance bronchodilation even in patients using MDIs optimally. Compared with both the small-volume device and the MDI alone, the large-volume spacer allows faster and larger small airway dilation with less than half of the procaterol dose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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