Effects of inhaled beclomethasone on airway responsiveness in occupational asthma. Placebo-controlled study of subjects sensitized to toluene diisocyanate

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Aug;148(2):407-12. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/148.2.407.


We investigated the effect of 5 months of treatment with inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) on the airway responsiveness to methacholine (PD20 FEV1) and to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in 15 sensitized asthmatic subjects who had been removed from occupational exposure to TDI. After the diagnosis was established by a positive inhalation challenge with TDI, each subject was removed from occupational exposure to isocyanates and treated with either BDP (1 mg twice per day, n = 7) or placebo (n = 8) for 5 months. The study was double blind for parallel groups. P20 FEV1 methacholine was measured before and three times during treatment and then at 6 months, that is, 4 wk after cessation of treatment. Airway sensitivity to TDI was assessed with specific inhalation challenge before treatment and at 6 months. Beclomethasone reduced the airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine but did not affect the response to TDI. In fact, in the subjects on BDP, P20 FEV1 increased from 0.145 to 0.485 mg (p < 0.05) after 2 months of treatment. A further increase was observed at 4 and 5 months (0.548 and 0.629 mg, respectively, p < 0.01), and the improvement in nonspecific airway responsiveness was maintained after a 1-month washout period (0.637 mg, p < 0.01). In contrast, in the subjects on placebo, P20 FEV1 did not change significantly. At the end of the study, the severity of asthmatic reactions induced by bronchial challenge with TDI was significantly reduced in both groups, but no differences were observed between placebo and BDP.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / chemically induced*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Beclomethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / drug therapy*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Insulin
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / drug therapy
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Placebos
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / adverse effects*


  • Insulin
  • Placebos
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate
  • Beclomethasone
  • Hydrocortisone