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Sunday 01 June 2003

Effect of salmeterol xinafoate on lung mucociliary clearance in patients with asthma.

By: Hasani A, Toms N, O'Connor J, Dilworth JP, Agnew JE.

Respir Med 2003 Jun;97(6):667-71

Lung mucociliary clearance is impaired in stable asthma. The long-acting beta2-agonist salmeterol has been shown in vitro to cause a significant increase in ciliary beat frequency. It seemed possible therefore that salmeterol may also have a favourable effect on lung mucociliary transport in asthmatic patients. Fourteen patients with asthma participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study to assess the effect of 2 weeks of treatment with salmeterol MDI (50 microg b.d.) on lung mucociliary clearance. The 11 patients who completed the study (seven males, four females) had a mean +/- SE age of 50 +/- 4 years, % predicted FEV1 of 74 +/- 8% and a tobacco consumption history of 13 +/- 7 pack-years (seven non-smokers, four exsmokers). Lung mucociliary transport was measured by a radioaerosol technique. Pulmonary function indices (FEV1, FVC, and PEF) were significantly improved on salmeterol relative to placebo. The main radioaerosol finding was a significant increase in the penetration of radioaerosol into the lung with 24-h radioaerosol rising from 40 +/- 5% on placebo to 49 +/- 4% (P < 0.01) on salmeterol. Despite this increased penetration, a slight favourable change occurred in tracheobronchial aerosol clearance. This study demonstrates that 2 weeks salmeterol treatment influences deposition of particles within the lung by increasing airway patency and indicates a beneficial effect of MDI salmeterol on lung mucociliary clearance.

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