Systemic activity of inhaled topical steroid in toddlers studied by knemometry

Acta Paediatr. 1993 Dec;82(12):1066-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1993.tb12814.x.


The short-term linear growth rate of the lower leg in toddlers was measured and evaluated in order to study the possible effect of inhaled budesonide on this factor in toddlers with mild recurrent wheezing. The short-term linear growth rate of the lower leg was measured weekly using a hand-held knemometer. Eighteen toddlers aged 13-36 months (mean 27 months) with a history of recurrent wheezing requiring inhaled topical steroids, but without need of regular medication during the months prior to the study, were studied. The children were randomized blindly through three consecutive treatment periods of four weeks with placebo or budesonide in daily doses of 200 micrograms and 800 micrograms administered as a pressurized aerosol inhaled via a spacer with a face mask. Twenty-nine percent (median) of the nominal dose was delivered at the mouth of the children. Three children were withdrawn because of exacerbations and one because of non-compliance. The precision of the measurement procedure was 51 microns/day. The mean growth rate during placebo, low-dose and high-dose steroid treatment was 92 microns/day, 114 microns/day and 46 microns/day respectively. The growth rate during the high-dose treatment was suppressed significantly compared to placebo treatment (95% CI -76 microns/day to -17 microns/day), whereas the growth rate during low-dose steroid treatment was indistinguishable from placebo treatment (95% CI -7 to +52 microns/day). In conclusion, measurement of short-term linear growth rate by knemometry in toddlers is a fast and gentle method with a high level of precision.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anthropometry / instrumentation
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Budesonide
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leg / growth & development*
  • Pregnenediones / administration & dosage
  • Pregnenediones / adverse effects*
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Sounds


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Pregnenediones
  • Budesonide