Reasons for performing study: Studies investigating the clinical efficacy of albuterol administered with the same propellant and commercially available delivery devices in horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) are not currently available.
Objectives: To determine the efficacy of aerosolised albuterol administered to horses with RAO by means of 2 commercially available, hand-held delivery devices.
Methods: Ten horses with RAO were kept in a dusty environment and fed mouldy hay to induce airway obstruction. Lung mechanics were measured before and after the procedure. ΔPmax was measured 5 min after administration of 180 µg of albuterol from a pressurised metered dose inhaler, using an aerosol delivery device chosen randomly. This process was repeated every 5 min until maximal bronchodilation was achieved. After a 24 h washout period, lung mechanics data were again collected using the other aerosol delivery device.
Results: Aerosolised albuterol induced a significant and rapid bronchodilation in the horses using both aerosol delivery devices. No statistically significant difference in pulmonary function was observed in response to albuterol therapy between the 2 devices. The dose required to achieve 50% of maximal bronchodilation was not statistically different between the 2 devices (173.35 ± 78.35 µg with Device 1 and 228.49 ± 144.99 µg with Device 2, P = 0.26). The decrease in lung resistance tended to be more pronounced after albuterol administration with Device 1 (P = 0.066).
Conclusions: Aerosolised albuterol is an effective bronchodilator in horses with recurrent airway obstruction. There is no statistically significant difference between the 2 commercially available aerosol delivery devices in terms of efficacy.
Potential relevance: Aerosolised albuterol is effectively delivered using currently available devices leading to maximal bronchodilation in horses with RAO at an average dose of 540 µg.