Study objectives: Albuterol, a β2-adrenergic agonist that is commonly used to treat asthma, reduces bronchial smooth muscle tone. The pharmacodynamics of inhaled albuterol on esophageal function were studied in healthy volunteers. Design: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover design. Setting: An academic medical center. Patients: Nine healthy volunteers (five men, four women; age, 22 to 30 years). Interventions: Albuterol (2.5 to 10 mg) or placebo was given via nebulizer. Volunteers were studied at two sessions, 1 week apart, using a 6-cm manometry assembly and a low-compliance pneumohydraulic pump. The percentage of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation, the frequency of transient LES relaxations (TLESRs), and the amplitude, duration, and propagation velocity of esophageal contractions were measured at 5 and 10 cm above the LES. Dependent measures were evaluated using two-way, repeated-measures analysis of variance. Measurements and results: Albuterol therapy reduced LES basal tone in a dose-dependent manner (baseline, 17.0±2.6 mm Hg; at 10 mg, 8.9±2.1 mm Hg; p=0.01). The frequency of TLESRs was not different from placebo (not significant). Albuterol reduced the amplitude of esophageal contractions at 5 cm above the LES (baseline, 72.5±18.6 mm Hg; at 10 mg, 48.8±10.0 mm Hg; p2-agonists may increase the likelihood of acid reflux in a subset of patients who receive cumulative dosing.
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Lower esophageal sphincter
- Transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine