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Thursday 01 May 2003

Comparison of two forms of albuterol for treatment of acute bronchospasm in pediatric patients.

By: Monroe KW, Nichols MH, King WD, Tucker K, Tomlinson R.

South Med J 2003 May;96(5):440-4

BACKGROUND: The Circulaire nebulizer (C-Neb) is marketed as superior to low-dose albuterol for acute bronchospasm. METHODS: This clinical trial design compared clinical and fiscal outcomes of patients treated with C-Neb and high-dose albuterol (HDA). Eligibility criteria included reactive airway disease, age >5 years, and asthma score (AS) of 2 to 10. Patients with odd medical record numbers received HDA, and those with even numbers received C-Neb. Treatment was concluded if AS was 0, peak flow was >70% predicted, or after three treatments. RESULTS: One hundred eight patients were enrolled: 48 received HDA, 52 received C-Neb, and 8 were excluded. The two groups were comparable by admission rates (G2 = 0.90, P = 0.34), return visit rates (G2 = 0.73, P = 0.39), and final AS (z = 0.59, P = 0.55). Side effects were similar: change in heart rate (t = 1.61, P = 0.11) and mean arterial pressure (t = 1.36, P = 0.17). Charges per treatment, per delivery, and total charges were greater for HDA. CONCLUSION: The C-Neb is equally effective, has similar side effects, and requires less time and charges than HDA.

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