The protective effect was examined of three doses (2, 10, and 20 mg) of sodium cromoglycate inhaled from a pressurised metered dose inhaler on the response to isocapnic hyperventilation of cold dry air in 10 asthmatic subjects. This was compared with the effect of cromoglycate powder (20 mg) inhaled from a Spincap and with placebo given on two occasions. The medications were inhaled on separate days, in random order and with the use of a double blind double dummy technique, 20 minutes before isocapnic hyperventilation of two fold increasing volumes of air (-15 degrees C, 0% humidity) to produce a 20% fall in the post-treatment FEV1. The response was expressed as the provocative dose of respiratory heat loss required to cause a fall in FEV1 of 15% (PD15, kcal/min). The mean baseline spirometric indices exceeded 85% of predicted normal values on each test day; both placebo treatments reduced the baseline FEV1 by comparison with all active treatments (p less than 0.0001). Comparison of the PD15 on the two placebo days confirmed excellent reproducibility. All doses of cromoglycate shifted the respiratory heat loss dose-response curve to the right of the placebo curve; PD15 after all active treatments exceeded PD15 after placebo (p less than 0.0001). There was no cromoglycate dose-response relationship between the three doses of aerosol (p greater than 0.05), or between any dose of aerosol and powder (p greater than 0.05). It is concluded that cromoglycate aerosol inhaled from a pressurised inhaler in a dose of 2 mg gives the same magnitude of protection against bronchoconstriction stimulated by airway cooling as 20 mg of pressurised aerosol or powder from a Spincap.
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