SFC treatment improved hyperresponsiveness to MCh (P = 0.014) as well as AMP (P = 0.011), and reduced FENO (P < 0.001) significantly as compared with placebo. Lung function tended to improve (NS). Furthermore, SFC treatment reduced tryptase in the subepithelium of bronchial biopsy specimens (P = 0.01), and slightly reduced RBM thickness (P = 0.05). However, eosinophils in (sub)epithelium were not significantly affected; neither were chymase levels, blood eosinophils or QOL scores.
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The probability of having a cardiovascular adverse event by 3 years was 24.2% for placebo, 22.7% for salmeterol, 24.3% for fluticasone propionate and 20.8% for SFC. Although a history of myocardial infarction doubled the probability of cardiovascular adverse events, the event rates remained similar across treatment groups.
There was no difference between LABA + ICS vs tiotropium + ICS in time to first exacerbation (mean No. of exacerbations/person-year, 0.42 vs 0.37 (rate ratio, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.73 to 1.11], log-rank P = .31). There was no difference in change in FEV1 at 12 months (0.003 L for LABA + ICS vs -0.018 L for tiotropium + ICS; between-group difference, 0.020 [95% CI, -0.021 to 0.061], P = .33) and at 18 months (-0.053 L vs -0.078 L; between-group difference, 0.025 [95% CI, -0.045 to 0.095], P = .49). There were no differences in ACQ score at 18 months (change in score from baseline, -0.68 for LABA + ICS vs -0.72 for tiotropium + ICS; between-group difference, 0.04 [95% CI, -0.18 to 0.27], P = .70). There were no differences in other patient-reported outcomes. Arg16Gly ADRB2 alleles were not associated with differences in the effects of tiotropium + ICS vs LABA + ICS (hazard ratio for time to first exacerbation, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.47 to 1.51] for Arg/Arg vs 0.85 [95% CI, 0.63 to 1.15] for Arg/Gly or Gly/Gly, P = .97).
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This study has shown how the eNGI could be used as a simple Pharmacopeia based methodology for the evaluation of mass and charge profiles of single and combination pMDIs at a series of flow rates.
Since the proportion of missing outcome data compared to the observed outcome data is enough to induce a clinically relevant bias in the intervention effect, the relative efficacy and safety of combined inhalers and tiotropium remains uncertain. Further large, long-term randomised controlled trials comparing combination therapy to tiotropium are required, including adequate follow-up of all participants randomised (similar to the procedures undertaken in TORCH and UPLIFT). Additional studies comparing alternative inhaled LABA/steroid combination therapies with tiotropium are also required.
In this study, the percentage of patients with uncontrolled asthma who can achieve guideline-defined asthma control was assessed in 3,421 patients. Significantly more patients (71%) treated with salmeterol-fluticasone achieved asthma control than did patients receiving fluticasone alone (59%). The patients treated with salmeterol-fluticasone achieved asthma control more rapidly and at a lower dose of inhaled corticosteroid than did patients treated with fluticasone alone. Achievement of asthma control was associated with marked improvements in exacerbation rates and quality of life. Thus guideline-defined asthma control can be achieved in the majority of patients and should be the goal of asthma treatment.
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Baseline QC: 9/10 devices had 100% accuracy; one had an electrical circuit failure. Simulated Patient Use: Accuracy was 99% (2/342 actuations duplicated). Patient Field Testing: One device failed pre-dispensing testing (electrical circuit failure). Eight devices were field-tested by asthma patients (mean age 45, 5 females). Mean actuation log accuracy was 97%. Reminders were 100% accurate. All devices successfully uploaded data. Average patient-rated difficulty of use was 6/100 (1 = extremely easy, 100 = extremely difficult).
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The overall response rate to FSC at 6 and 12 weeks was 79%. The corresponding rates for FEV(1), IC, and QoL were 38%, 55%, and 62%, respectively. More than 40% of patients showed a response for IC and/or QoL without being responders for FEV(1.) Overall lung function and QoL were improved. FSC was well tolerated with a safety profile consistent with that observed previously.
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These results show that salmeterol improves the symptoms and airway function of patients with asthma, but has no effect on eosinophilic airway infiltration. These findings support current asthma guidelines, which recommend the initial use of inhaled steroid to maximize clinical improvement. While salmeterol also produces clinical improvement, it does not suppress sputum eosinophilia. The analysis of induced or spontaneous sputum for inflammatory indexes may be a valuable clinical test to guide the use of inhaled steroid and/or a long acting beta-agonist.