Electrostatic charge on plastic spacer devices may affect the efficacy of inhaled drugs, but its consequences have never been evaluated in asthmatic children with airflow limitation. At the end of a positive metacholine challenge, 64 children (51.3+/-12.9 months, 32 boys, specific airway resistance (SRaw) 257.1+/-56.7% and forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV(1)) 64.2+/-17.9% of the predicted value) inhaled one puff of hydrofluoroalkane-134a (HFA-134a) salbutamol (Ventoline((R))), and 15min later two other puffs (total dose of 300 microgram), delivered through either a new static Babyhaler((R)) (n=21), a detergent-coated, reduced static, Babyhaler((R)) (n=20), or a metal NES-Spacer((R)) (n=23) equipped with facemask. SRaw and FEV(1) were measured after each treatment and compared between groups by a Kruskal-Wallis test. The first 100 microgram salbutamol induced a 151.7+/-43.9% decrease in SRaw and a 19.9+/-10.6% increase in FEV(1). Additional 200 microgram salbutamol allowed a supplementary decrease of 35.1+/-25.7% in SRaw and increase of 12.1+/-11.8% in FEV(1), without significant difference between the spacer devices. Electrostatic charge on spacer devices does not affect bronchodilation with HFA-134a salbutamol in metacholine-challenged pre-school children. This could be in part explained by the use of supramaximal doses of salbutamol.