Small airways targeted treatment with smart nebulizer technology could improve severe asthma in children: a retrospective analysis

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Objective: Conventional inhaler devices have a low efficacy in targeting small airways. Smart nebulizers can be used to increase deposition to small airways by adjusting the flow and depth of each inhalation based on patients ‘individual inspiratory capacity. We investigated whether targeting of high dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) to small airways with a smart nebulizer could reduce exacerbation rate in children with severe asthma (SA). Methods: We conducted a retrospective study in children with SA using a smart nebulizer (Akita® Jet nebulizer) for the administration of high dose ICS in our outpatient clinic at the Erasmus MC — Sophia Children’s Hospital. Clinical data before and after start of treatment were collected. The primary outcome was exacerbation rate, defined as: number of asthma exacerbations for which oral corticosteroid courses (OCS) were prescribed. The exacerbation rate 1 year before treatment was compared with the exacerbation rate 1 year after start of treatment. Secondary outcomes were changes in spirometry parameters, hospital admissions and medication use. Results: Data on OCS use was available for 28/31 patients. Median number of asthma exacerbations requiring OCS courses 1 year before decreased from 2 (interquartile range(IQR) 2) to 0.5 (IQR 3) 1 year after treatment (p = 0.021). Hospital admission decreased from 1 (IQR 3) to 0 (IQR 1)(p = 0.028). FEV1, FEF25-75 and FEF75 were not significantly improved after one year of treatment with the smart nebulizer (p = 0.191; p = 0.248; p = 0.572). Conclusion: Targeting small airways with high dose ICS using a smart nebulizer resulted in a significant reduction in exacerbations requiring OCS after one year of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2223-2233
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by an unrestricted research grant of Vectura Group Plc. in 2018. The sponsor was not involved in the conduct of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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