Serum theophylline concentration was measured in children both during treatment of status asthmaticus with intravenous aminophylline, and as outpatients while they were taking oral theophylline compounds for long-term management of asthma. The clinical value of the measurements was assessed. Measurement using high-pressure liquid chromatography is simple and requires only a small volume of blood. Knowledge of serum theophylline concentration facilitates careful control of dosage of both intravenous aminophylline during treatment of status asthmaticus, and of oral theophylline in outpatients. It is useful in the evaluation of symptoms which may be due to toxic side effects of treatment. It also makes possible an assessment of patient compliance with prescribed treatment among those whose symptoms have not improved.
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