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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • children;
  • cortisol;
  • knemometry;
  • lower-leg growth rate

Agertoft L, Pedersen S. Lower-leg growth rates in children with asthma during treatment with ciclesonide and fluticasone propionate. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e199–e205. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard

Measurement of short-term lower-leg growth rate in children by knemometry has become established as an integral part of the available measures of systemic activity of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in children. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the novel ICS ciclesonide (CIC) and the ICS fluticasone propionate (FP) on lower-leg growth rate and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal-axis function in children with mild asthma. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-period crossover study, 28 children, aged 6–12 yr, sequentially received daily doses of CIC 320 μg, FP 375 μg (330 μg ex-actuator) and placebo via a spacer in a randomized order. Each 2-wk treatment period was followed by a 2-wk washout period. Knemometry was performed at the beginning and end of each treatment period. Cortisol levels in 12-h overnight urine were measured at the end of each treatment period. No statistically significant differences were seen in lower-leg growth rates between CIC (0.30 mm/wk) and placebo (0.43 mm/wk) treatments. Lower-leg growth rate during FP treatment (0.08 mm/wk) was significantly reduced compared with both placebo [least squares (LS) mean: −0.35 (95% CI: −0.53, −0.18; p = 0.0002)] and CIC [LS mean: −0.23 (95% CI: −0.05, −0.40; p = 0.0137)]. Cortisol levels in 12-h overnight urine were significantly lower in the FP group when compared with CIC (p < 0.05); however, there were no statistically significant differences between each of the active treatments and placebo. CIC had no significant effect on lower-leg growth rate in children aged 6–12 yr with mild asthma. In contrast, a similar dose of FP significantly reduced lower-leg growth rate compared with placebo and CIC.