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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

The use of cultures and immunologic procedures to predict oropharyngeal candidiasis in patients on steroid aerosols


Dr Sheldon L. Spector, Allergy Research Foundation, 85405 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90045, U.S.A.


Sixty-seven asthmatic individuals treated with either beclomethasone diproprionate or flunisolide were sequentially evaluated for up to 32 months to determine the incidence of oropharyngeal candidiasis as well as laboratory parameters which might be predictive of this complication. Throat cultures and measurements of Candida antibody by immunodiffusion and radioimmunoassay were performed and compared over time and treatment groups. Unlike other studies, pre-treatment Candida precipitins did not predict increased risk for clinical thrush nor did quantitative determinations of Candida antibody. Those patients with positive cultures pre-trial, however, had a significantly higher incidence of clinical thrush than those with negative cultures (P < 0.01).

No significant changes occurred over time or between drugs for any of the parameters. Symptomatic thrush, however, was slightly more common in those patients treated with beclomethasone.

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