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Effect of fluticasone on markers of inflammation and quality of life in steroid-naive patients with mild asthma.

Author(s): Ehrs PO, Sundblad BM, Larsson K

Affiliation(s): Unit of Lung and Allergy Research, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Publication date & source: 2010-01, Clin Respir J., 4(1):51-8.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients with mild asthma may adapt to symptoms that may be neglected at a medical consultation. Despite active airway inflammation, indicating need for treatment symptoms may be poorly perceived and influence on quality of life. The aim was to find out if markers of asthma activity and quality of life are influenced by inhaled steroids in patients who regard themselves as free of symptoms. METHODS: Seventy steroid-free patients with mild asthma were treated with inhaled fluticasone (250 microg twice daily) or placebo for 3 months in a randomised, double-blind, study. Spirometry with reversibility test, exhaled nitric oxide (NO), bronchial responsiveness to methacholine and eucapnic dry air hyperventilation and quality of life [(Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ)] were assessed before and after treatment. RESULTS: Fluticasone, but not placebo, decreased methacholine responsiveness. Bronchial responsiveness to dry air and exhaled NO levels was significantly lowered by fluticasone compared with placebo. Quality-of-life scores were high already before treatment and were not significantly altered by treatment. CONCLUSION: Treatment with an inhaled steroid in mild asthmatics altered bronchial responsiveness and exhaled NO levels but did not improve quality of life. In mild asthma, there is thus a space for improvement with regard to inflammatory parameters in patients who have only minor symptoms that are not influenced by treatment. In a long-term perspective, the indication for treatment of surrogate markers remains, however, unclear.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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