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CHEST: Lower Doses Benefit Pediatric Asthma Patients

Reduced-dose steroid regimen doesn't increase median length of stay for status asthmaticus

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In children who are hospitalized with asthma, a reduced-dose steroid regimen has no effect on hospital stays, and low-dose albuterol treatment is associated with a lower risk of metabolic acidosis than high-dose treatment, according to research presented at the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 in San Diego.

In one study, Courtney Edwards, of Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., and colleagues compared outcomes in children who were hospitalized with status asthmaticus, 152 of whom received a maximum steroid dose of 240 mg/day and 141 of whom received a maximum dose of 60 mg/day. No difference was found in the median length of stay between the high-dose and low-dose groups (2.01 versus 1.98 days).

In a second study, Muhammad A. Rishi, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in Bridgeport, Conn., and colleagues studied 201 children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with a diagnosis of severe acute asthma. Compared to low-dose albuterol treatment, they found that high-dose treatment was associated with increased heart and respiratory rates and a significantly higher rate of metabolic acidosis (43.3 versus 8.3 percent).

"We conclude that lower dose inhaled corticosteroids may be helpful in most children admitted with status asthmaticus," Edwards and colleagues conclude. "Further prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings."

One author of the first study reported financial relationships with AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough, and Teva.

Abstract - Edwards
Abstract - Rishi
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