OBJECTIVE--To assess the benefit of nebulised amiloride added to the standard inpatient treatment of a respiratory exacerbation in cystic fibrosis. DESIGN--Prospective, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial. SUBJECTS--27 cystic fibrosis patients (mean age 12.8 years). SETTING--Two hospitals in Leeds, UK. RESULTS--Both forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) showed improvements over the course of treatment, although there was no difference in respiratory function between the two groups at any of three time periods during the study. The time to reach peak FVC was significantly reduced in the amiloride group (4.2 v 7.6 days; 95% CI 0.4 to 6.4 days), but not in the time to reach peak FEV1 (5.7 v 7.9 days; 95% CI -1.2 to 5.6 days). CONCLUSIONS--Amiloride did not result in a greater overall improvement in respiratory function. There was a suggestion that it may have an effect on the rate of improvement, and thus may possibly influence the duration of treatment. This hypothesis deserves further evaluation.
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