Efficacy of salbutamol by nebulizer versus metered dose inhaler with home-made non-valved spacer in acute exacerbation of childhood asthma

Mymensingh Med J. 2012 Jan;21(1):66-71.


This study was done to evaluate and to compare the efficacy of jet nebulizer and metered dose inhaler (MDI) with home-made non-valved spacer (HM NVS) to deliver aerosolized salbutamol in acute exacerbation of asthma in children. HM NVS was made by 500ml plastic mineral water bottle. It was perforated at the bottom for the insertion of MDI and proximal end was cut for placing the mouth. This prospective randomized study was conducted in the department of Pediatrics, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, during April 2007 to March 2008 with 50 known cases (2-12 years) of bronchial asthma with acute exacerbation. After randomized enrollment, each patient received three doses of salbutamol either through a jet nebulizer or through a HM NVS. Oxygen saturation (SaO2), wheeze, heart rate, respiratory rate were recorded throughout the treatment period. Data were analyzed with SPSS for Windows 10.0 at p value <0.05 was considered significant. The mean age of patients was 59.8 months in nebulizer group versus 69.4 months in MDI with HM NVS group. Baseline clinical characteristics in nebulizer group were SaO2 87.7±2.5 versus 89.0±1.8 percent, RR 59.2±7.3 vs. 63.2±4.8 per minute, HR 155.4±11.8 versus 149.0±10.8 per minute and wheeze in 22(88.0%) cases versus 21(84.0%) cases respectively (p>0.05). After therapy improvement was noted among the nebulizer group (SaO2 87.7±2.5 vs. 94.3±2.8 percent; RR 59.2±7.3 vs. 39.3±4.9 per minute; HR 155.4±11.8 vs. 151.60±17.3 per minute; wheeze 88% vs. 8%) as well as in the MDI with HM NVS group (SaO2 89.0±1.8 vs. 94.8±1.8 percent; RR 63.2±4.8 vs. 38.7±6.4 per minute; HR 149.0±10.8 vs. 144.5±13.5 per minute; wheeze 84% vs. 16%) [p<0.001; CI:95%]. However, these improvements did not differ significantly between the nebulizer group and HM NVS group (SaO2 94.3±2.8 vs. 94.8±1.8 percent, RR 39.3±4.9 vs. 38.7±6.4 per minute, HR 151.60±17.3 vs. 144.5±13.5 per minute and wheeze persisted in 2(8.0%) cases versus 4(16.0%) cases respectively) [p>0.05]. The overall response to these modalities of treatment was satisfactory in nebulizer (19/25) and HM NVS (17/25). Salbutamol delivered through both nebulizer as well as MDI with HM NVS is equally effective in the treatment of acute asthma in children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Albuterol / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Metered Dose Inhalers
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*


  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Albuterol