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Clinical Investigations: ASTHMA |

Lack of Long-term Adverse Adrenal Effects From Inhaled Triamcinolone*: Lung Health Study II

Michael S. Eichenhorn; Robert A. Wise; Thelma C. Madhok; Lynn B. Gerald; William C. Bailey; Donald P. Tashkin; Paul D. Scanlon; and the Lung Health Study Research Group
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: *From Henry Ford Hospital (Dr. Eichenhorn), Detroit, MI; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Dr. Wise), Baltimore, MD; University of Minnesota (Dr. Madhok), Minneapolis, MN; University of Alabama at Birmingham (Drs. Gerald and Bailey), Birmingham, AL; University of California, Los Angeles (Dr. Tashkin), Los Angeles, CA; and Mayo Clinic (Dr. Scanlon), Rochester, MN.,  A complete list of LHS participants is given in the Appendix.

Correspondence to: John E. Connett, PhD, University of Minnesota, Division of Biostatistics, 2221 University Ave SE, #200 Minneapolis, MN 55414-3080; e-mail: john-c@ccbr.umn.edu


Affiliations: *From Henry Ford Hospital (Dr. Eichenhorn), Detroit, MI; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Dr. Wise), Baltimore, MD; University of Minnesota (Dr. Madhok), Minneapolis, MN; University of Alabama at Birmingham (Drs. Gerald and Bailey), Birmingham, AL; University of California, Los Angeles (Dr. Tashkin), Los Angeles, CA; and Mayo Clinic (Dr. Scanlon), Rochester, MN.,  A complete list of LHS participants is given in the Appendix.


Chest. 2003;124(1):57-62. doi:10.1378/chest.124.1.57
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Study objectives: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are widely used in the treatment of COPD. One of the potential adverse effects of their use is the development of adrenal suppression. Our study aimed to determine the effects of ICS on adrenal function over 3 years of use in patients with COPD.

Methods: Two hundred twenty-one subjects were recruited from the 1,116 patients already enrolled in Lung Health Study II and were randomized to receive either triamcinolone, 1,200 μg, or placebo daily. Basal cortisol levels and cortisol levels at 30 min and 60 min following cosyntropin injection were measured at study entry and after 1 year and 3 years of participation.

Results: Basal cortisol levels in the placebo group were higher than in those receiving active drug at all time points and rose through the study period. There was no suppression of cortisol levels after cosyntropin stimulation at any study point in any subgroup.

Conclusion: Use of inhaled triamcinolone, 1,200 μg/d, over 3 years does not suppress baseline adrenal function or diminish adrenal responsiveness to cosyntropin stimulation.

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