To evaluate the effect of long-term bronchodilator therapy in CF patients with demonstrated bronchial hyperresponsiveness, we first performed methacholine challenges to determine responsiveness, then entered 27 patients (16 methacholine responders and 11 nonresponders) into a two-month double-blind crossover trial of albuterol, 90 μg by inhalation four times a day vs placebo. Among the responders, daily PEFR measures improved significantly more during treatment with albuterol (12±32 L/min) than with placebo (-0.4±19 L/min; p<0.05). In addition, a clinically important level of improvement in PEFR (15 percent increase) was reached significantly more frequently in the responders. Methacholine nonresponders had no change in PEFR on either albuterol or placebo. Daily symptom scores as well as spirometry measurements at biweekly visits did not show significant changes. We conclude that long-term therapy with inhaled albuterol improves lung function in CF patients, but only in those with bronchial hyperresponsiveness as demonstrated by methacholine challenge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine