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Keywords:

  • inflammation;
  • allergic reaction;
  • immunoglobulins;
  • skin-prick test

Background

A high serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E level is considered a potent predictor for the development of asthma and IgE is targeted for treatment of asthma. Although inhaled corticosteroids are well established in the treatment of asthma, the effects of inhaled corticosteroids on serum IgE levels in asthma remain uncertain.

Methods

We therefore examined asthma symptoms, concentrations of total serum IgE and specific IgE antibodies to selected allergens, blood eosinophil counts and lung functions before and 3 months after treatment with either inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP; 800 μg/day) (n = 7) or inhaled β2-agonists alone (n = 7) in patients with atopic asthma in a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group controlled trial.

Results

Inhaled BDP significantly improved asthma symptom scores and forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and decreased blood eosinophil counts, total serum IgE levels and specific IgE antibodies to house dust mite and cedar. Decreases in total serum IgE significantly correlated with an improvement in asthma symptom scores. In contrast, none of parameters altered in patients with atopic asthma treated with inhaled β2-agonists alone.

Conclusions

Inhaled corticosteroids may improve the subsequent clinical course of atopic asthma in association with a reduction of serum IgE levels.