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Allergol Int. 2012 Sep;61(3):411-7. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.11-OA-0357. Epub 2012 May 25.

Superiority of nebulized corticosteroids over dry powder inhalers in certain patients with cough variant asthma or cough-predominant asthma.

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Department of Pulmonology, National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, 3256Midori-machi, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo, Japan.



The particle distribution might differ between nebulizer therapy and metered-dose inhaler (MDI) or dry powder inhaler (DPI) therapy because the particles repeatedly enter/re-enter the airways with the nebulizer. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) were administered with a nebulizer to assess the benefit of changes in the distribution of particles in patients with cough variant asthma (CVA) and cough-predominant asthma (CPA).


Patients whose symptoms were not controlled by their current therapy were enrolled. In patients receiving high-dose ICS by MDI or DPI (ICS-MDI/DPI), steroid therapy was switched to 1,320μg/day of nebulized dexamethasone (1,600μg as dexamethasone sodium phosphate) (chronic steroid-independent group). In patients receiving systemic steroids regardless of their ICS-MDI/DPI therapy, nebulized dexamethasone was added and any concurrent ICS-MDI/DPI therapy was halted to detect a steroid-sparing effect (chronic steroid-dependent group). In patients with acute exacerbation of CVA or CPA and persistent symptoms despite systemic corticosteroids, nebulized dexamethasone was added to assess its effect (acute group).


Superior symptom control was achieved in 10 out of 12 steroid-independent patients, 3 out of 6 steroid-dependent patients, and all 7 acute patients.


Delivery of ICS via a nebulizer has advantages over ICS-MDI/DPI in some patients with CVA or CPA.

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