Long-term benefits of inhaled tobramycin in adolescent patients with cystic fibrosis

Chest. 2002 Jan;121(1):55-63. doi: 10.1378/chest.121.1.55.


Study objective: To determine the effect of long-term suppression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on lung function and other clinical end points in adolescent patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Design: Two identical, randomized, placebo-controlled trials followed by three open-label follow-on trials.

Setting: Sixty-nine CF study centers in the United States.

Interventions: Active drug consisting of a 300-mg tobramycin solution for inhalation (TSI).

Patients: One hundred twenty-eight adolescent CF patients (aged 13 to 17 years) with P aeruginosa and mild-to-moderate lung disease (FEV(1) percent predicted > or = 25% and < or = 75%).

Measurements: Pulmonary function, P aeruginosa colony forming unit density, incidence of hospitalization and IV antibiotic use, weight gain, and aminoglycoside toxicity were monitored.

Results: At the end of the first three 28-day cycles of TSI treatment, patients originally randomized to TSI and placebo treatments exhibited improvements in FEV(1) percent predicted of 13.5% and 9.4%, respectively. FEV(1) percent predicted was maintained above the value at initiation of TSI treatment in both groups. At the end of the last "on-drug" period (92 weeks), patients originally randomized to TSI and placebo treatments showed improvements of 14.3% and 1.8%, respectively. Improvement in pulmonary function was significantly correlated with reduction in P aeruginosa colony forming unit density (p = 0.0001). The average number of hospitalizations and IV antibiotic courses did not increase over time. TSI treatment was associated with increased weight gain and body mass index. P aeruginosa susceptibility to tobramycin decreased slightly over time, but this was not correlated with clinical response.

Conclusions: TSI treatment improved pulmonary function and weight gain in adolescent patients with CF over a 2-year period of long-term, intermittent use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Tobramycin / adverse effects


  • Tobramycin