Effect of inhaled fluticasone on lung function in infants with recurrent wheezing: a randomised controlled trial

Javier Mallol, Viviana Aguirre, Luis Barrueto, Gustavo Wandalsen, Robert Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: Inhaled corticosteroids are used to treat infants with troublesome asthma-like symptoms but their effect on the lung function of these young patients is controversial. Material and Methods: Forty-four infants with recurrent wheezing (more than 3 episodes) and family history of asthma completed this randomised, parallel, double-blind, controlled trial to compare the effect on lung function (main endpoint) of once-daily inhaled fluticasone (375 μg) versus placebo for 3 months. Pulmonary function was measured while infants were asymptomatic, using the raised volume rapid thoracic compression technique (spirometry-like), and values were converted to z-scores. Results: The fluticasone group showed a significant increase in forced flows, (p < 0.001), a lower number of physician diagnosed wheezing episodes (p < 0.002), and a significant decrease in the parent-reported number of wheezing episodes per month (p < 0.03), as compared to placebo. One third of parents in the placebo group reported a clinical improvement in their infants. There was no significant difference in morning plasma cortisol between groups at entry or discharge. Conclusions: We conclude that once-daily treatment with 375 μg fluticasone increased forced flows and controlled symptoms in infants with recurrent wheezing without altering plasma cortisol levels. The spirometry-like technique is a useful tool to objectively assess the efficacy of anti-asthma medications in infants with repeated troublesome asthma-like symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalAllergologia et Immunopathologia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Asthma
  • Infants
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Pulmonary function
  • wheezing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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