To determine the electrolyte disturbances in chronic stable asthma patients receiving outpatient therapy including different forms of beta stimulants.
Consecutive out patients with chronic, stable airway obstruction of bronchial asthma. Once diagnosed patients were subjective full clinical data collection including: age, gender, duration of asthma, severity of illness, details of therapy, and serum levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium were measured.
Sixty consecutive patients with chronic, stable airway obstruction of bronchial asthma were included in the study.Age 37.7±12.8 and females were 53.3% of patients. Electrolyte disturbances were found in 58.3% of patients; of those patients 51.4% had one electrolyte disturbance, 31.4% had two electrolytes disturbance, and 17.1% had three electrolyte disturbance. The majority (45%) had lower potassium levels, followed by magnesium in 31.7% of patients. Lower incidence of hyponatremia was found in 18.3% of patients. We did not found hypocalcemia in those patients. Logistic regression analysis showed statistically significant correlation between inhaled steroids and the presence of electrolyte disturbance. Beta long acting inhalers were associated with significant correlation for hypokalemia whereas the use of theophyline was significant for the presence of hypomagnesmia.
Hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia were the most common electrolyte disturbance in patients with chronic, stable bronchial asthma. Inhaled steroids and long acting beta agonist seems to have an effect on the electrolytes serum levels. Mechanisms are needed to be clarified.
The use of different inhalers should be carefully monitored in patients with long term therapy. Especially, if those patients are relectant to consult their doctors about their illness.
Emad Ibrahim, None.