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Salivary cortisol monitoring: Determination of reference values in healthy children and application in asthmatic children

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Venipuncture testing of adrenocortical function in asthmatic infants and young children receiving inhaled corticosteroids can raise cortisol levels and mask physiological responses. This study aimed to establish reference ranges for salivary cortisol levels and evaluate the safety and effects of jet-nebulized budesonide inhalation suspension (BIS) on salivary cortisol levels and patient outcomes in infants and young children with mild or persistent asthma. Reference salivary cortisol levels were determined in healthy children aged 6 months to 4 years old. A 12-week multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, open-label study was performed involving 53 age-matched asthmatic children who received either 0.5 mg/day of BIS or 40‐60 mg/day of cromolyn sodium inhalation suspension (CIS) via compressor nebulizer. The effective measuring range of salivary cortisol concentration in asthmatic children was 0.12‐3.00 micrograms/dL. The upper and lower limits of the reference range were 0.827 and 0.076 micrograms/dL, respectively. No significant difference was seen from baseline through week 12 in the CIS and BIS groups. BIS was safe in these patients, with no inhibitory effects on adrenocortical function. Salivary cortisol measurement offers a useful and accurate tool for testing adrenocortical function in infants and young children. Longer-term studies that incorporate testing of the hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal axis are warranted to confirm our findings.
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Keywords: Adrenocortical function; HPA axis; asthma; budesonide inhalation suspension; cromolyn sodium inhalation solution; infants; inhaled corticosteroid; salivary cortisol; toddlers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Yoga Allergy Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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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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