Withdrawal of inhaled steroids in children with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis

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Abstract

Background

To study the effects of inhaled steroid withdrawal on bronchial hyperreactivity, sputum inflammatory markers and neutrophilic apoptosis in children with non-cystic fibrosis (non-CF) bronchiectasis.

Objectives

To evaluate the role of inhaled steroids in the treatment of children with non-CF bronchiectasis with specific emphasis on the bronchial hyperreactivity and neutrophilic apoptosis.

Methods

Twenty-seven children with steady-state non-CF bronchiectasis were evaluated primarily with metacholine challenge tests and apoptotic neutrophil ratios in induced sputum and secondarily with symptom scores, pulmonary function tests and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-8 (IL-8) levels and neutrophil ratios in induced sputum before and after 12-week withdrawal of inhaled steroids.

Results

There were 16 girls and 11 boys. Median (interquartile range) age was 11·4 (9·5–13·6) years, follow-up duration was 3·5 (2–6·5) years. Symptom scores (4 vs. 3; P = 0·27), oxygen saturation (95% vs. 97%; P = 0·06), pulmonary function tests (FEV1: 82% predicted vs. 83% predicted; P = 0·73), sputum neutrophil ratios (29·9% vs. 46·8%; P = 0·20), TNF-α (58 pg/mL vs. 44·5 pg/mL; P = 0·55) and IL-8 (2·7 ng/mL vs. 2·4 ng/mL; P = 0·82) levels in induced sputum were similar before and after 12-week withdrawal of inhaled steroids. However, the number of patients with bronchial hyperreactivity increased (37% vs. 63% of patients; P = 0·016) and neutrophilic apoptosis in induced sputum decreased (42·8% vs. 20·2%; P = 0·03) after withdrawal.

Conclusion

In this study, 12 week-withdrawal of inhaled steroid treatment resulted in a significant increase in bronchial hyperreactivity and decrease in neutrophil apoptosis, but no change in sputum inflammatory markers in children with non-CF bronchiectasis was observed.

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