Effects of extra-fine inhaled beclomethasone/formoterol on both large and small airways in asthma

N. Scichilone, S. Battaglia, C. Sorino, G. Paglino, L. Martino, A. Paternò, R. Santagata, M. Spatafora, G. Nicolini, V. Bellia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Airway inflammation in asthma involves both large and small airways, and the combination of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long acting beta-2 agonists (LABA) is the mainstay of therapy. Available inhaled combinations differ in terms of drug delivery to the lung and the ability to reach small airways. Aim: To evaluate whether treatment with an extra-fine inhaled combination provides additional effects vs a nonextra-fine combination on airway function. Methods: After a 1- to 4-week run-in period, patients with asthma were randomized to a double blind, double dummy, 12-week treatment with either extra-fine beclomethasone/formoterol (BDP/F) 400/24 μg daily or fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) 500/100 μg daily. Methacholine (Mch) bronchoprovocation challenge and single breath nitrogen (sbN2) test were performed. Results: Thirty patients with asthma (15 men), mean age 43, mean forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) 71.4% of predicted, were included. A significant increase (P < 0.01) versus baseline was observed in predose FEV1 in both BDP/F and FP/S groups (0.37 ± 0.13 l and 0.36 ± 0.12 l, respectively). PD20FEV 1 Mch improved significantly from 90.42 (±30.08) μg to 432.41 (±122.71) μg in the BDP/F group (P = 0.01) but not in the FP/S group. A trend toward improvement vs baseline was observed for BDP/F in closing capacity (CC), whereas no differences were recorded in other sbN2 test parameters. Conclusion: The findings of this pilot study suggest that an extra-fine inhaled combination for the treatment of asthma has beneficial effects on both large and small airways function as expressed by Mch and sbN2 tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-902
Number of pages6
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Asthma
  • Extra-fine formulation
  • Methacholine
  • Nitrogen test
  • Small airways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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