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Variability of Pulmonary Function Tests in Stable Corticosteroid Dependent Asthma Patients

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We studied 24 corticosteroid dependent asthmatic patients over a period of 10 months to establish a baseline for future therapeutic trials with corticosteroid sparing agents. Clinical symptoms, steroid dose, peak expiratory flow rate (PF), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and forced vital capacity (FVC) were recorded at clinic visits. Correlation was sought between PF and FEV1, steroid dose versus PF and symptom severity, and PF versus time and symptoms. There was considerable weekly variability of PF and FEV1. However, when viewed over almost a year, 54% had no significant change in PF, 29% actually worsened and 17% improved. The data suggest that to assess the effect of a steroid-sparing agent accurately, one must first establish a reliable baseline over several months to eliminate weekly variability. The current trend of obtaining a baseline over a 1 to 2 month interval is inadequate in this study population. We also found that neither patient assessment of severity of symptoms nor corticosteroid dosage correlate with objective spirometric measurements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1991-07-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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