Although the relative effect of racemic and (R)-albuterol on airway smooth muscle tone have been investigated in patients with airflow obstruction, the comparative effectiveness of these drugs in relaxing airway vascular smooth muscle is unknown. Therefore, we determined the actions of inhaled racemic and (R)-albuterol on airway mucosal blood flow (Q̇aw) normalized for anatomic dead space as an index of airway vascular smooth muscle tone in 11 healthy subjects and 10 subjects with mild asthma. We also monitored the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. (FEV1) as an index of airway smooth muscle tone. Mean ± SE baseline Q̇aw was 43.1 ± 1.5 μl.min-1.ml-1 in healthy subjects and 53.4 ± 2. 1 μl.min-1.ml-1 in asthmatic subjects (p < 0.01). The corresponding values for FEV1 were 95.6 ± 1.4 and 86.8 ± 2.5% respectively, of predicted (p = 0.01.). Racemic and (R)-albuterol caused a transient, dose-dependent increase of Q̇aw in healthy, but not in asthmatic subjects; the responses were not different between the two drugs. The FEV1 tended to increase more in asthmatics than in healthy subjects, again without a difference between the two drugs. These results show that racemic and (R)-albuterol have comparable effects on airway vascular smooth muscle and suggest that the blunted airway vascular smooth muscle response to albuterol in asthmatics is not related to (S)-albuterol.
- Airway blood flow
- Beta-2 agonists
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine