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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Feb;153(2):616-21.

Effect of fluticasone propionate on sputum of patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

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Lung Immunobiochemical Research Laboratory, General Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The effects of fluticasone propionate (FP) on sputum chemotactic activity, elastase inhibitory potential, albumin concentrations, and peripheral neutrophil function were studied in a group of patients with clinically stable, smoking-related chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Seventeen patients (50 to 75 yr of age) were entered into a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 1.5 mg inhaled FP/d for 8 wk. Following treatment with FP the chemotactic activity of the sputum sol phase was lower than the corresponding values for the placebo group (p < 0.01). Values fell from a mean of 21.75 (+/- 1.58) during the run-in period to 18.37 (+/- 1.46; p < 0.01) after 4 wk and 17.63 (+/- 1.86; p < 0.05) after 8 wk treatment returning to 22.08 (+/- 1.26) cell/field after the washout period. The neutrophil elastase inhibitory capacity of the sputum sol phase increased (p < 0.025) with treatment from a mean of 0.177 microM elastase inhibited/L (+/- 0.05) pretreatment to 0.413 microM (+/- 0.054) after 4 wk and 0.415 microM (+/- 0.054) after 8 wk returning to 0.270 microM (+/- 0.07) after the washout period. Treatment with FP did not result in a change in the peripheral neutrophil functions studied or sputum albumin and myeloperoxidase concentrations. The results suggest that FP may play a protective role in these patients through a reduction in the chemotactic activity of lung secretions and potentially a reduction in the recruitment of neutrophils to the lung, and also by directly affecting the proteinase/antiproteinase balance, in favor of antiproteinases, within lung secretions.

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