Aims: To determine if indirect testing for bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to monitor inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment in asthma is feasible and acceptable in primary care.
Methods: Fourteen adult patients with asthma aged 22-70 years (4M:10F, forced expiratory volume in 1 s >70% predicted) taking ICS performed a test for BHR using mannitol on three visits 6 weeks apart. ICS dose adjustments were made based on the presence of BHR. The Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) and the Asthma Control Questionnaire were used at each visit. A semi structured interview at study exit assessed subject acceptability.
Results: BHR did not return in those with no BHR at study entry (n=9) with decreasing ICS dose. Improvements in BHR with increasing ICS dose (n=5) were observed with clinically significant improvements in AQLQ (mean score increase >0.5, p=0.02). Feasibility and acceptability of BHR testing was demonstrated.
Conclusions: It is feasible and acceptable to perform BHR testing using mannitol to help identify patients with asthma who would benefit from ICS dose increases and those with no BHR who could have a dose reduction.
Trial registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12610000807055.