Preliminary Communications

Effect on airways resistance of prostaglandin E1 given by aerosol to healthy and asthmatic volunteers

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 20 December 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:723
  1. M. F. Cuthbert


    The forced expiratory volume in one second (F.E.V.1) was measured in healthy and asthmatic volunteers and the inhalation of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) was compared with that of isoprenaline, using metered aerosols.

    In healthy volunteers PGE1, either as the free acid or the neutral triethanolamine salt, did not affect the F.E.V.1; the free acid was irritant to the upper respiratory tract. In five out of six asthmatic volunteers with reversible airways obstruction, inhalation of 55 μg of PGE1 (triethanolamine salt) produced an increase in F.E.V.1 comparable in both degree and duration to that produced by an inhalation of 550 μg. of isoprenaline sulphate.

    Though the triethanolamine salt was well tolerated in most of the asthmatic subjects studied, in one asthmatic subject this preparation caused coughing and there was a progressive reduction in the F.E.V.1 associated with bronchospasm.

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