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Ultrasonic Nebulization of Albuterol is No More Effective Than Jet Nebulization for the Treatment of Acute Asthma in Children

Albert K. Nakanishi; Billy M. Lamb; Charles Foster; Bruce K. Rubin
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Affiliations: From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, St. Louis,  From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis,  From the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis

Affiliations: From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, St. Louis,  From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis,  From the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis

Affiliations: From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, St. Louis,  From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Louis, University, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis,  From the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;111(6):1505-1508. doi:10.1378/chest.111.6.1505
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Abstract

Study objective: Nebulizer systems used to generate therapeutic aerosols vary in their ability to deliver medication to the airway. In a recent study in 17 adults with stable asthma, albuterol given using an ultrasonic nebulizer (UN) appeared to produce greater bronchodilatation than the same dose of albuterol given by a jet nebulizer (JN). The purpose of this study was to determine if the UN used in that study would produce a better bronchodilator response in children with acute asthma than the JN system that has been in use at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

Design: Randomized, prospective, unblinded study.

Setting: An urban university children's hospital emergency department.

Participants: One hundred thirteen children, aged 7 to 16 years, who presented for treatment of acute moderately severe asthma completed this study.

Interventions: After randomization and exclusion of dropouts, 46 children received albuterol by UN and 67 were treated by JN.

Measurements: Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) by spirometry, pulse oximetry, and symptom score at baseline and at 15 and 30 min following a single prescribed treatment.

Results: PFT on entry to the study was the same in both groups (FEV1; p>0.97). The change in FEV1 after therapy (UN+0.22 L vs JN+0.37 L) was significant (p<0.05) and favored JN. There was no difference in the improvement in pulmonary function between JN and UN therapy in children with an initial FEV1/FVC>75% predicted but when FEV1/FVC<75%, the improvement in FEV1 again favored the JN (UN+0.2 vs JN+0.47; p<0.05).

Conclusion: For the treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma in children, there is no greater bronchodilator response when albuterol is administered by a UN than by a JN.


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