Study objective: To determine the bronchodilator effect of recombinant human B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP; nesiritide) on patients with asthma.
Design: A prospective, open-label study.
Setting: Outpatient setting.
Patients: Eight adult patients with asthma confirmed by > 12% and > 200 mL increase in FEV1 after bronchodilator inhalation.
Interventions: An IV nesiritide bolus, 2 μg/kg, followed by continuous infusion for a total of 3 h at escalating doses of 0.01, 0.02, and 0.03 μg/kg/min for 1 h each as tolerated.
Measurements: Spirometry and forced oscillation technique (FOT) measurements were both obtained at baseline and every 30 min during the infusion. Two doses of albuterol, 90 μg, inhalation via metered-dose inhaler were then administered at the end of nesiritide infusion, followed by repeat spirometry and FOT measurements after 30 min. Primary end points were FEV1 and FVC changes after the nesiritide infusion for 3 h. Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests were used to compare the effects of nesiritide and albuterol.
Results: Baseline measurements (mean ± SD) were as follows: FEV1, 1.89 ± 0.87 L; FVC, 3.02 ± 0.99 L; respiratory resistance at 5 Hz (Rrs5), 10.3 ± 3.85 cm H2O · s/L; and mean respiratory resistance at 5 to 20 Hz, 7.56 ± 1.92 cm H2O/L/s. Mean baseline serum BNP level was 27 ± 27 pg/mL. After 180 min of nesiritide infusion, the following measurements showed significant changes: FEV1 increased to 2.41 ± 0.78 L (mean increase, 520 mL), p = 0.012; FVC increased to 3.65 ± 1.05 L (mean increase, 630 mL), p = 0.017; and Rrs5 decreased to 8.24 ± 4.02 cm H2O/L/s, p = 0.017. After albuterol, there were no further significant changes in these measurements.
Conclusion: IV nesiritide is an effective bronchodilator in patients with asthma.