European Respiratory Society


Ciclesonide is delivered as a small-particle inhaled corticosteroid and improves lung function and airway hyperresponsiveness. The objective of the present study was to assess whether ciclesonide can specifically improve small airway function in asthma.

A total of 16 mild-to-moderate asthma patients (seven males; median (range) age 39 (19–56) yrs and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 89 (62–120)% predicted) were randomised to 5 weeks’ treatment with placebo or 320 μg ciclesonide once daily. The following small airway parameters were assessed: mean forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75% of forced vital capacity (FVC), percentage fall in FVC at provocative dose of adenosine-5′-monophosphate and of methacholine (MCh) causing a 20% fall in FEV1, expiratory lung volume on computed tomography (CT) scan after MCh challenge, single-breath nitrogen closing volume and alveolar exhaled nitric oxide (eNO).

Seven subjects received placebo and nine received ciclesonide. Both alveolar eNO and CT measurements of expiratory lung volume after MCh challenge decreased significantly with ciclesonide (median (range) decrease 4.4 (54.8–1.4) ppb and 59 (1,569– -117) mL, respectively), and compared with placebo (-0.4 (7.3– -3.4) ppb and -121 (20– -236) mL respectively). Ciclesonide did not significantly improve other small airways parameters.

Inflammation and patency of small airways, reflected by alveolar exhaled nitric oxide and air trapping on computed tomography scan, both improve with ciclesonide even in this small number of patients. This indicates that ciclesonide exerts anti-inflammatory effects on small airways.


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