Changes in functional residual capacity and peak flow rate were measured to assess bronchodilator response to terbutaline inhaled via a nebuhaler. In 10 children with asthma, aged 5-7 years, five breaths sufficient to operate the nebuhaler valve resulted in clinically important improvement in both the functional residual capacity and the peak flow rate. In 18 of 22 children, aged 2-5 years, who were too young to have their peak flow rate measured reliably, terbutaline administered via this modified nebuhaler technique was also associated with a clinically important change in functional residual capacity. The results suggest that effective bronchodilation using a nebuhaler can be achieved even in very young children.
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