Background: Inhaled corticosteroids may reduce short-term growth velocity in asthmatic children and knemometry is the most sensitive tool to detect this short-term growth suppression.
Study objective: To compare lower leg growth velocity, as measured by knemometry, in asthmatic children during and after treatment with inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP), 100 µg twice daily.
Design: Nonrandomized open trial.
Setting: University hospital, outpatient clinic for pediatric pulmonology.
Patients: Twenty-one asthmatic children (13 boys), aged 6 to 10 years.
Interventions: Inhalation of FP from a dry powder inhaler, 100 µg, twice daily for 6 weeks, followed by 2 weeks during which only an inhaled β2-agonist was used on demand (washout). During treatment and washout periods, patients were seen every 2 weeks at the same time of day.
Measurements and results: Lower leg growth velocity measured by knemometry during FP treatment was not significantly different from that during washout (p=0.33, one-way analysis of variance).
Conclusions: No significant suppression of lower leg growth velocity was found in prepubertal asthmatic children using FP, 100 µg, by dry powder inhaler twice daily for 6 weeks.