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Effect of montelukast on excessive airway narrowing response to methacholine in adult asthmatic patients not on controller therapy

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Excessive airway narrowing is an important determinant of fatal asthma. This pathophysiological feature is characterized by the absence of a dose‐response plateau to methacholine (Mtc). We investigated if the leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) montelukast (Mont) can induce a dose‐response plateau to Mtc in adult asthmatic patients not on controller therapy, and, hence, protects against excessive airway narrowing. Thirty-one asthmatic patients (13 male patients, 18‐50 years old; forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1], >70% predicted; PD20, <3.9 mol of Mtc) on short-acting beta 2-agonists p.r.n. only with a twice-documented absence of dose‐response plateau, participated in a double-blind, parallel study with Mont (10 mg) or placebo once daily for 12 weeks. Mtc dose‐response curves (0.03‐256 mol or >40% FEV1 decline) were repeated every 4 weeks. The primary objective was induction of a plateau response (defined as ≥2 FEV1 values within a 5% range), and, secondarily, changes in PD20 and maximal decline in FEV1 after 12 weeks. Mean baseline FEV1, FEV1/forced vital capacity, PD20, and maximal decline in FEV1 were 91% pred, 78%, 0.46 mol, and 48.9%, respectively, with no differences between the groups. After 12 weeks, a dose‐response plateau was observed in two patients (Mont) and one patient (placebo) (NS), and comparison of changes from baseline in maximal decline in FEV1 or PD20 revealed no significant differences between groups. Twelve weeks of treatment with Mont neither induced a plateau response nor affected maximum FEV1 response or PD20. Our findings, therefore, suggest that monotherapy with a LTRA does not protect against excessive airway narrowing in adult asthmatic patients not on inhaled corticosteroids.
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Keywords: Adults; airway hyperresponsiveness; airway responsiveness; asthma; atopic asthma; controller therapy; excessive airway narrowing; leukotriene receptor antagonist; methacholine; montelukast

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Heart and Lung Diseases, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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