Purpose of Study
Inhaled corticosteroids may reduce short-term growth velocity in children. The purpose of this study was to compare lower leg growth velocity by knemometry in asthmatic children receiving inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP), 100 μg twice daily.
Twenty-one asthmatic children (13 boys and 8 girls, aged 6–10 years, prepubertal) from a university hospital outpatient clinic in pediatric pulmonology.
The baseline trial was a 6-week period with patients using 100 μg of inhaled FP bid with a dry-powder inhaler. There was then a 2-week washout period during which no inhaled corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory medications were used. Before the study period, all patients were using inhaled corticosteroids (100–400 μg/day). Treatment was not blinded and treatment order was fixed. During the trial and washout period, patients were seen every 2 weeks. Inhaler technique and compliance were checked. Knemometry was performed at a fixed time of day.
There was no significant differences between lower leg growth velocities in each of the four 2-week periods (P = .33).
No significant suppression of lower leg growth velocity was found in prepubertal asthmatic children using FP, 100 μg by dry powder inhaler bid for 6 weeks.
This is yet another study assessing the effects of inhaled steroids on growth. However, this study only observed very short term growth and doesn't answer the more important question of long-term growth suppression. Because knemometry does not necessarily predict long-term growth further study will be needed.