In 19 asthmatic children, aged 2-6 years, the effect of six weeks' treatment with inhaled budesonide or placebo on functional residual capacity (FRC--helium dilution) and bronchodilator responsiveness was assessed in a double blind, randomised crossover trial. FRC was increased in most children at the start of treatment. Treatment with budesonide was associated with a reduction in FRC by comparison with placebo (median change 9% v 0%; p less than 0.05). There was a trend towards a greater response to a bronchodilator after budesonide. The results suggest that inhaled corticosteroids reduce hyperinflation in young asthmatic children.
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