Comparison of efficiency and preference of metal and plastic spacers in preschool children
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BACKGROUND: The metal NebuChamber valved holding chamber (VHC) has gained wide acceptance among children with asthma. Due to its nonelectrostatic properties and larger volume, the 250-mL, metal NebuChamber delivers a greater mass of aerosol to a filter at the mouth compared with the commonly used 150-mL polypropylene AeroChamber VHC. Such in vitro results have been used to suggest that this may provide increased efficacy with the NebuChamber. No comparative efficacy data exist for preschool children with asthma. OBJECTIVE: To compare efficiency and preference of metal and plastic spacers in preschool children. METHODS: Children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma received 200 microg of budesonide twice daily by NebuChamber or AeroChamber, both with the mask provided in a randomized, 2-month, crossover trial. Symptom diary cards, beta-agonist use, and preference by children and parents were compared. RESULTS: Thirty children (mean +/- SD age, 4.3 +/- 0.3 years) completed the study. There was no difference between the AeroChamber and NebuChamber in clinical efficacy outcomes. There was no difference between the AeroChamber and NebuChamber in parents' view of ease of use, design, acceptability by the children, and overall satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a greater total dose delivered to the mouth, the NebuChamber appears no more effective than the AeroChamber and it is not preferred by patients or parents. More parents chose to continue to use the NebuChamber after the study.
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