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Saturday 01 July 2006

Control of airway inflammation maintained at a lower steroid dose with 100/50 microg of fluticasone propionate/salmeterol.

By: Jarjour NN, Wilson SJ, Koenig SM, Laviolette M, Moore WC, Davis WB, Doherty DE, Hamid Q, Israel E, Kavuru MS, Ramsdell JW, Tashkin DP, Reilly DS, Yancey SW, Edwards LD, Stauffer JL, Dorinsky PM, Djukanovic R.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006 Jul;118(1):44-52

BACKGROUND: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) have been shown to reverse epithelial damage and decrease lamina reticularis thickness in patients with asthma. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether clinical asthma control and airway inflammation could be maintained after switching therapy from medium-dose fluticasone propionate (FP) to low-dose FP administered with the long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) salmeterol. METHODS: Eighty-eight subjects (age, > or =18 years) who, during open-label screening, demonstrated improved asthma control after an increase from 100 microg of FP twice daily to 250 microg of FP twice daily were randomized to receive 100/50 microg of FP/salmeterol through a Diskus inhaler (GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC) twice daily or continue 250 microg of FP twice daily through a Diskus inhaler for 24 weeks. Clinical outcomes were monitored, and bronchial biopsy specimens and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were obtained before and after 24 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between treatments with respect to eosinophils in the bronchial mucosa and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; mucosal mast cells, neutrophils, or CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, or CD25+ T lymphocytes; or concentration of mediators (GM-CSF, IL-8, and eosinophil cationic protein). The 2 treatments were not different with respect to lamina reticularis thickness. Consistent with the airway inflammatory measures, clinical and physiologic measures of asthma control were also similar. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that control of asthma and airway inflammation is maintained over the 24-week treatment period when patients requiring a medium-dose ICS are switched to a lower-dose ICS with a LABA. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: A lower-dose ICS with a LABA is effective in controlling inflammation and providing clinical asthma control, confirming current guideline recommendations.

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