Background: Outcome data are needed to base recommendations for controller asthma medication use in school-aged children. Objective: We sought to determine intraindividual and interindividual response profiles and predictors of response to an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA). Methods: An ICS, fluticasone propionate (100 μg twice daily), and an LTRA, montelukast (5-10 mg nightly, age dependent), were administered to children ages 6 to 17 years with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma using only as-needed bronchodilators in a multicenter, double-masked, 2-sequence, 16-week crossover trial. Clinical, pulmonary, and inflammatory responses to these controllers were evaluated. Results: Improvements in most clinical asthma control measures occurred with both controllers. However, clinical outcomes (asthma control days [ACDs], the validated Asthma Control Questionnaire, and albuterol use), pulmonary responses (FEV1/forced vital capacity, peak expiratory flow variability, morning peak expiratory flow, and measures of impedance), and inflammatory biomarkers (exhaled nitric oxide [eNO]) improved significantly more with fluticasone than with montelukast treatment. eNO was both a predictor of ACDs (P = .011) and a response indicator (P = .003) in discriminating the difference in ACD response between fluticasone and montelukast. Conclusions: The more favorable clinical, pulmonary, and inflammatory responses to an ICS than to an LTRA provide pediatric-based group evidence to support ICSs as the preferred first-line therapy for mild-to-moderate persistent asthma in children. eNO, as a predictor of response, might help to identify individual children not receiving controller medication who achieve a greater improvement in ACDs with an ICS compared with an LTRA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy