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Monday 01 December 2003

Airway responsiveness to beta-adrenergic agonist (salbutamol) in asthma.

By: Boskabady MH, Saadatinejad M.

J Asthma 2003 Dec;40(8):917-25

Despite the controversy of airway responsiveness to beta2-agonist drugs in asthma, in a previous study we showed increased responsiveness of asthmatic airways to isoprenaline. Therefore, in the present study of airway sensitivity to other beta2-agonists, salbutamol and its relationship to histamine responsiveness was reexamined. The threshold bronchodilator concentrations of inhaled salbutamol required for a 20% increase in forced expiratory flow in 1 sec (FEV1), (PC20) was measured in 20 normal and 19 asthmatic adults. Airway responsiveness to histamine, as the concentration that caused a 20% decrease in FEV1, was also measured in 11 normal and 12 asthmatic subjects; and the correlation between PC20 salbutamol and PC20 histamine was evaluated. Sensitivity to salbutamol was greater in asthmatics (PC20 = 7.24 mg/L) than in non-asthmatics (PC20 = 124.25 mg/L, p < 0.001). Airway responsiveness to histamine in asthmatics (PC20 = 0.18 g/L) was also significantly greater than in normal subjects (PC20 = 19.46 g/L, p < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between PC20 salbutamol and histamine (Rs = 0.6052, p < 0.005). Maximum response to both salbutamol and histamine and slope of concentration-response curves of both agents were significantly greater in patients with asthma than in normal subjects (p < 0.001 and p < 0.005 for maximum response and slope, respectively). The increased sensitivity of asthmatics to inhaled salbutamol suggests that they also may be more sensitive to their endogenous adrenaline, which may thus dilate and stabilize their airways.

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