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Intensive Care Med. 2001 Oct;27(10):1627-35.

Salbutamol delivery during non-invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized, controlled study.

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Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, Istituto Scientifico di Pavia, Fondazione S.Maugeri, IRCCS, via Ferrata 8, 27100 Pavia, Italy.



We investigated the clinical response to equivalent doses of salbutamol delivered, via metered dose inhaler (MDI) during non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV-MDI), during spontaneous breathing using a spacer (MDI-Spacer), and also during intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB).


A respiratory intensive care unit.


Prospective, randomized, and placebo-controlled study.


Eighteen stable patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (mean FEV1=38.5+/-8.8% predicted).


Overall salbutamol administration induced, compared to placebo, a significant improvement in FEV1, irrespective of the mode of administration (+7.9+/-7.1% or +108+/-91 ml for IPPB, +9.6+/-8.8% or 112+/-67 ml for MDI-NIMV (inspiratory pressure=14.3+/-1.8 cmH2O; expiratory pressure=none), and +10.8+/-11.4% or 119+/-114 ml for MDI-Spacer, respectively). DeltaFVC significantly increased from placebo only in MDI-NIMV (+214+/-182 ml P=0.02). A second set of experiments performed in eight patients to ascertain the possible effect of NIMV on pulmonary function tests, showed a significant improvement from baseline values in FVC both after the delivering of placebo or salbutamol via NIMV-MDI (+206+/-147 ml and 208+/-145, respectively). FEV1 significantly increased only after salbutamol. No changes in gas exchange were observed after bronchodilator delivery.


We show that delivery of bronchodilators via MDI with a spacer chamber during NIMV is feasible and induces a significant bronchodilator effect compared to placebo, even though it may be slightly less effective than the classical delivery system (MDI-Spacer).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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