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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Jan;163(1):32-6.

Acute anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled budesonide in asthma: a randomized controlled trial.

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Airway Research Centre, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


Corticosteroids can have acute effects on airway function and methacholine airway responsiveness in asthma as early as 6 h after dosing, suggesting there may be an acute anti-inflammatory effect of inhaled corticosteroid in asthma. This study aimed to determine the effects of a single dose of inhaled budesonide on sputum eosinophils and mast cells in adults with asthma, and to examine whether the mechanism of clearance of eosinophils was by apoptosis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted. At the screening visit, adults with stable asthma (n = 41) ceased inhaled corticosteroid therapy for 4 d and those with significant sputum eosinophilia (> or = 7%) were randomized (n = 26) to a single dose of budesonide 2,400 microg or placebo via Turbuhaler, on two separate study days. Symptoms and lung function were followed for 6 h, then sputum was induced and airway responsiveness to hypertonic saline determined. Sputum eosinophils (mean, SE) were significantly lower 6 h after budesonide (25%, 4.5), compared with placebo (37%, 6.2, p < 0.05). There was a 2.2-fold (95% CI 1.45 to 3.33) improvement in airway responsiveness with budesonide. No significant difference was seen on mast cells, apoptotic eosinophils, symptoms, or lung function. In conclusion, a single dose of inhaled corticosteroids has beneficial effects on airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness as early as 6 h after dosing. This may be clinically useful as therapy during mild exacerbations of asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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