News briefs from the journal Chest, March 2007

Inhaled Steroids May Not Be as Effective in COPD Treatment

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are commonly used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, a new study reveals that ICS may not be as effective in treating the disease as previously thought. In a pooled study, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Oregon Health and Science University, along with researchers from Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe analyzed data from nearly 4,000 patients with COPD, who were randomized and treated with either ICS or a placebo. Results showed that ICS use was associated with a significant FEV1 increase within the first 6 months of use and that they were more effective in improving lung function in ex-smokers than in current smokers. However, researchers found that after 6 months, there was no significant difference between placebo and ICS in modifying FEV1 decline. This study appears in the March issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Bronchodilators Show No Benefit in Bronchoscopy Patients

A new study suggests that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who are undergoing bronchoscopy, should not be premedicated with bronchodilators. Researchers from the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, gathered 120 patients with COPD and randomized them into three groups to receive salbutamol, placebo, or nothing prior to bronchoscopy. Pulmonary function tests were performed on all patients both before and after the procedure. Results showed that in all groups, FEV1 decreased significantly postbronchoscopy and that the percentage of patients experiencing postbronchoscopic deterioration was similar. Researchers conclude that patients with COPD do not need to be premedicated with short-acting ?-agonists prior to bronchoscopy. This study appears in the March issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest P

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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