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Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Apr;26(2):159-66. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2012.09.007. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Effects of tiotropium on lung function in severe asthmatics with or without emphysematous changes.

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Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


The effects of tiotropium, an inhaled long-acting anti-cholinergic agent, on lung function were investigated in obstructed severe asthmatics with and without emphysematous changes despite maximal recommended treatments with high-dose of inhaled glucocorticoids and inhaled long-acting β(2)-agonists. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of an inhaled single-dose of tiotropium in 18 asthmatics with emphysema and 18 without emphysema in a crossover manner. The primary efficacy outcome was the relative change in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) from baseline to 60 min, and the secondary outcome was a relative change in FEV(1) from baseline to 12 h. Subsequently, the patients were treated with tiotropium inhaled once daily for 12 weeks in an open label manner, and lung function and symptoms were evaluated. At baseline, patients with or without emphysema had a mean FEV(1) of 55.9% before tiotropium and 56.8% before placebo, or 77.4% before tiotropium and 77.6% before placebo of the predicted value and were taking a mean dose of inhaled glucocorticoids of 1444 or 1422 μg/day. Among patients with emphysema, the increase from baseline FEV(1) was 12.6 percentage points higher at 60 min after tiotropium than after placebo. Among patients without emphysema, the increase from baseline FEV(1) was 5.4 percentage points higher at 60 min after tiotropium than after placebo. Tiotropium resulted in improved lung function and symptoms in asthmatics with and without emphysema. These findings suggest that tiotropium will provide a new strategy for the treatment of bronchial asthma and of overlapping asthma and COPD.

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