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Can Respir J. 2011 Sep-Oct;18(5):278-82.

Effects of a short course of inhaled corticosteroids in noneosinophilic asthmatic subjects.

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Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec.



Noneosinophilic asthma has been regarded as a distinct phenotype characterized by a poor response to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).


To determine whether noneosinophilic, steroid-naive asthmatic subjects show an improvement in asthma control, asthma symptoms and spirometry after four weeks of treatment with ICS, and whether they further benefit from the addition of a long-acting beta-2 agonists to ICS.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study comparing the efficacy of placebo versus inhaled fluticasone propionate 250 mcg twice daily for four weeks in mildly uncontrolled, steroid-naive asthmatic subjects with a sputum eosinophil count of 2% or less. This was followed by an open-label, four-week treatment period with fluticasone propionate 250 mcg⁄salmeterol 50 mcg, twice daily for all subjects.


After four weeks of double-blind treatment, there was a statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in the mean (± SD) Asthma Control Questionnaire score in the ICS-treated group (n = 6) (decrease of 1.0 ± 0.5) compared with the placebo group (n = 6) (decrease of 0.09 ± 0.4) (P = 0.008). Forced expiratory volume in 1 s declined in the placebo group (-0.2 ± 0.2 L) and did not change in the ICS group (0.04 ± 0.1 L) after four weeks of treatment (P = 0.02). The open-label treatment with fluticasone propionate 250 mcg⁄salmeterol 50 mcg did not produce additional improvements in those who were previously treated for four weeks with inhaled fluticasone alone.


A clinically important and statistically significant response to ICS was observed in mildly uncontrolled noneosinophilic asthmatic subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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