Response to corticosteroids in chronic bronchitis
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Corticosteroid drugs are often employed in the treatment of patients with chronic bronchitis. Although some patients respond favorably to such therapy, the characteristics of such patients are not known. Twenty-four patients with chronic bronchitis were treated with prednisone 30 mg daily or placebo for one week each in a double-blind crossover study. The following were monitored before and after each treatment period: physical examination, symptoms, peripheral blood eosinophil count, sputum cell exmination, forced vital capacity (FVC), before and after isoproterenol aerosol. Seven of 24 patients had an FEV1 increase greater than 30% of the control value on prednisone but not on placebo. Blood eosinophil count was elevated (greater than or equal to 350/mm(3)) in 7 patients; 2 of these 7 improved on steroid. Sputum cell examination revealed preponderance of eosinophils in 1, and occasional clumps of eosinophils in 8. Seven of these 9 responded to steroid. Sputum but not blood eosinophilia is a good predictor of a favorable response to steroid therapy.