Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 2009 Mar;123(3):e519-25. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-2867.

Efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids in infants and preschoolers with recurrent wheezing and asthma: a systematic review with meta-analysis.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.



To compare the efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids in infants and preschoolers with recurrent wheezing or asthma.


Randomized, prospective, controlled trials published January 1996 to March 2008 with a minimum of 4 weeks of inhaled corticosteroids versus placebo were retrieved through Medline, Embase, and Central databases. The primary outcome was wheezing/asthma exacerbations; secondary outcomes were withdrawal caused by wheezing/asthma exacerbations, changes in symptoms score, pulmonary function (peak expiratory flow and forced expiratory volume in 1 second), or albuterol use.


Of eighty-nine studies identified, 29 (N = 3592 subjects) met the criteria for inclusion. Patients who received inhaled corticosteroids had significantly less wheezing/asthma exacerbations than those on placebo (18.0% vs 32.1%); posthoc subgroup analysis suggests that this effect was higher in those with a diagnosis of asthma than wheeze but was independent of age (infants versus preschoolers), atopic condition, type of inhaled corticosteroid (budesonide metered-dose inhaler versus fluticasone metered-dose inhaler), mode of delivery (metered-dose inhaler versus nebulizer), and study quality (Jadad score: <4 vs >/=4) and duration (<12 vs >/=12 weeks). In addition, children treated with inhaled corticosteroids had significantly fewer withdrawals caused by wheezing/asthma exacerbations, less albuterol use, and more clinical and functional improvement than those on placebo.


Infants and preschoolers with recurrent wheezing or asthma had less wheezing/asthma exacerbations and improve their symptoms and lung function during treatment with inhaled corticosteroids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Support Center