Budesonide facilitates weaning from mechanical ventilation in difficult-to-wean very severe COPD patients: Association with inflammatory mediators and cells

J Crit Care. 2018 Apr;44:161-167. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.10.045. Epub 2017 Oct 31.


Introduction: Mechanical ventilatory support is life-saving therapy for patients with respiratory failure in intensive care units (ICU) but is linked to ventilator-associated pneumonia and other nosocomial infections. Interventions that improve the efficiency of weaning from mechanical ventilation may improve patient outcomes.

Objective: To determine whether inhaled budesonide decreases time-to-weaning in COPD stage 4 difficult-to-wean patients and reduces the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in ICU patients.

Materials and methods: We recruited 55 difficult-to-wean COPD patients (Stage 4) within the ICU of the Masih Daneshvari Hospital. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive inhaled budesonide (0.5mg/day) or placebo (normal saline). Dynamic compliance and BAL cytokines were measured.

Results: Budesonide significantly reduced the number of days on MV (days-to-weaning=4.6±1.6days) compared to that seen in the control group (7.2±2.7days, p=0.014). Dynamic compliance was significantly improved in the budesonide group on days 3 (p=0.018) and 5 (p=0.011) The levels of CXCL-8 and IL-6 diminished on days 3-5 after start of budesonide (p<0.05).

Conclusion: In COPD patients on MV, nebulized budesonide was associated with reduced BAL CXCL8 and IL-6 levels and neutrophil numbers as well as an improvement in ventilatory mechanics and facilitated weaning.

Keywords: Budesonide; Difficult weaning; Ventilator.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Count
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Budesonide

Associated data

  • IRCT/IRCT20160392059N5