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Respir Med. 2002 Mar;96(3):137-41.

Bronchodilating effect of oxitropium bromide in heart disease patients with exacerbations of COPD: double-blind, randomized, controlled study.

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Institute of Lung Disease, Respiratory Unit, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Itlay.


Anti-cholinergic agents are considered the bronchodilator therapy of first-choice in the treatment of patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with heart disease since they may be as effective or more effective than inhaled beta2-agonists and, moreover, they do not interact with cardiac beta-adrenoceptors. The aim of our study was to evaluate the bronchodilator activity of oxitropium bromide in outpatients suffering from exacerbations of COPD associated with heart diseases (ischaemic heart disease and/or arrhythmias). We recruited 50 consecutive outpatients (33 males and 17 females, mean age 68.6 years, 15 current smokers and 35 ex-smokers). Each patient performed body plethismography in basal condition and 30 min after inhalation of 200 microg metered dose inhaler (MDI) oxitropium bromide administered by a device (Fluspacer). FEV1, FVC, MMEF25-75, sRaw and tRaw were evaluated. Thirty minutes after 200 microg oxitropium bromide administration, we observed a significant improvement in FEV1 11.6% +/- 1 (mean +/- SEM) (P<0.01); FVC, MMEF25-75 sRaw variation was respectively: 9.2% +/- 0.6, 31.4 +/- 2.9, -19.9 +/- 1.1. Placebo did not significantly change pulmonary function. Our data suggest that oxitropium bromide bronchodilator activity is effective in exacerbations of COPD.

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