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Tuesday 01 November 2005

Adding salmeterol to an inhaled corticosteroid reduces allergen-induced serum IL-5 and peripheral blood eosinophils.

By: Koopmans JG, Lutter R, Jansen HM, van der Zee JS.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005 Nov;116(5):1007-13

BACKGROUND: Adding a long-acting beta(2)-agonist to inhaled corticosteroids results in better symptomatic asthma control than increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids. OBJECTIVE: Investigating whether adding the long-acting beta(2)-agonist salmeterol to the inhaled corticosteroid fluticasone propionate has an effect on allergen-induced allergic inflammation in asthma. METHODS: Bronchial allergen challenges were performed in 26 patients with allergic asthma, pretreating them with a single dose of either fluticasone/salmeterol (100/50 microg) or fluticasone alone (100 microg), in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over design. Sputum and serum markers of bronchial inflammation were measured after allergen challenge, as well as lung function parameters. Primary outcomes were sputum eosinophil numbers and eosinophil cationic protein. RESULTS: Asthmatic responses after allergen challenge were significantly reduced after pretreatment with fluticasone/salmeterol relative to fluticasone alone. Sputum inflammatory markers after allergen challenge were not significantly affected by fluticasone/salmeterol pretreatment. By contrast, serum IL-5 was significantly reduced (geometric mean serum IL-5 [SEM]: 0.5 [0.3] vs 1.1 [0.3] pg/mL 1 hour and 0.6 [0.3] vs 1.1 [0.3] pg/mL 6 hours after challenge with fluticasone/salmeterol vs fluticasone alone pretreatment, respectively; P values < .05). Also, peripheral blood eosinophils were significantly reduced (geometric mean number x 10(6)/L [SEM]: 172 [0.1] vs 237 [0.1] at 6 hours and 271 [0.1] vs 351 [0.1] at 24 hours with fluticasone/salmeterol vs fluticasone alone pretreatment, respectively; P < .05). CONCLUSION: Adding salmeterol to fluticasone reduces allergen-induced serum IL-5 and peripheral blood eosinophils. This phenomenon may contribute to the improved clinical outcomes that result from adding a long-acting beta(2)-agonist to inhaled corticosteroids.

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