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Eur Respir J. 1998 Jun;11(6):1389-91.

Airway response of children with primary ciliary dyskinesia to exercise and beta2-agonist challenge.

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Dept of Physiotherapy, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.


In primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), chest physiotherapy for airway clearance is essential. Exercise and inhaled beta2-agonists can produce bronchodilation thereby augmenting physiotherapy. However, both can also cause bronchoconstriction, and the effects of these stimuli in PCD are not known. In a preliminary study, the mean coefficients of variation for forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) in children with PCD were determined. They were 5.4%, 4.4% and 8.4%, respectively. Twelve children with PCD and 12 normal children performed pulmonary functions under resting conditions; during and after a validated treadmill exercise test; and before and 15 min after 200 microg of inhaled salbutamol. At baseline, FEV1, FVC, forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF25-75%) and PEFR were significantly reduced in the PCD group compared with the control group. Exercise produced a significant increase in PEFR in the PCD group. There was no significant difference between the groups in response to salbutamol. Within the PCD group, exercise produced a significantly greater increase in PEFR than beta2-agonist therapy. In conclusion, in children with primary ciliary dyskinesia there is evidence of obstructive pulmonary disease. In these children, exercise is a more potent stimulus for bronchodilation than by inhaled beta2-agonists. Enhancement of airway clearance may best be achieved by encouraging patients to exercise before physiotherapy rather than by inhaling beta2-agonists, but the effects of each should be assessed for each individual before instigating treatment.

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