The effect of the regular use of neublized isoproterenol in 14 patients with symptomatic chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) was evaluated in a double-blind crossover 16-week study. FEV1, FVC and SGaw were measured before and 45 minutes after bronchodilator therapy every two weeks, while arterial blood gases were measured every eight weeks, before and 45 minutes after bronchodilator therapy. When the patients were considered as a group, there was no significant difference in mean symptom scores or objective pulmonary functions during the drug and placebo periods. Four patients had significantly higher (p less than .05) and two patients significantly lower mean values for at least one of the pulmonary function tests during the isoproterenol period. The patient who is most likely to benefit from isoproterenol on a regular basis appears to have the following characteristics; (1) consistent improvement in pulmonary function tests 45 minutes after use of nebulized bronchodilator; (2) moderate rather than severe COLD; and (3) a relatively normal DLCO.