Paradoxical deterioration in lung function after nebulised salbutamol in wheezy infants

Lancet. 1986 Dec 20-27;2(8521-22):1424-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(86)92735-2.


In 13 infants with a history of wheezing, airways resistance and specific conductance worsened after administration of nebulised salbutamol (0.5 ml sabutamol respirator solution in 1.5 ml normal saline). This paradoxical bronchoconstriction was greatest at 5 min and lasted for up to 15 min. The nebulised solution was found to be acidic and hypo-osmolar, both of which properties have been linked to bronchoconstriction in asthmatic subjects, but even with an initially iso-osmolar solution osmolality increased with time of nebulisation because of evaporation.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage
  • Albuterol / adverse effects*
  • Bronchi / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Respiratory Sounds / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors


  • Aerosols
  • Albuterol