Background: Controversy remains regarding the effectiveness of bronchodilators in wheezy infants.
Aims: To assess the effect of inhaled β2 agonists on lung function in infants with malacia or recurrent wheeze, and to determine whether a negative effect of β2 agonists on forced expiratory flow (V′maxFRC) is more pronounced in infants with airway malacia, compared to infants with wheeze.
Methods: We retrospectively analysed lung function data of 27 infants: eight with malacia, 19 with recurrent wheeze. Mean (SD) age was 51 (18) weeks. Mean V′maxFRC (in Z score) was assessed before and after inhalation of β2 agonists.
Results: Baseline V′maxFRC was below reference values for both groups. Following inhalation of β2 agonists the mean (95% CI) change in mean V′maxFRC in Z scores was −0.10 (−0.26 to 0.05) and −0.33 (−0.55 to −0.11) for the malacia and wheeze group, respectively.
Conclusions: In infants with wheeze, inhaled β2 agonists caused a significant reduction in mean V′maxFRC. Infants with malacia were not more likely to worsen after β2 agonists than were infants with recurrent wheeze.
- airway obstruction
- CV, coefficient of variation
- FRC, functional residual capacity
- HR, heart rate
- ILFT, infant lung function testing
- MDI, metered dose inhaler
- RTC, rapid thoracoabdominal compression
- RVRTC, raised volume rapid thoracoabdominal compression
- transcutaneous oxygen saturation
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