The study, conducted over a 16-week period, was a multi-center, double-masked,
2-sequence crossover trial by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network. Researchers,
led by Robert S. Zeiger, MD, PhD, from the University of California San Diego
Department of Pediatrics, administered either an ICS, a fluticasone propionate,
twice daily or an LTRA, a montelukast, each night to over 100 children with
mild to moderate persistent asthma. The children ranged from 6 to 17 years
As expected, researchers found both fluticasone and montelukast led to significant
improvements in many measures of asthma control. But, similar to earlier
research, they found strong evidence of greater mean improvements after 8
weeks of therapy with an ICS compared with a LTRA across many other outcomes.
The children who took ICS as a treatment experienced more asthma control days
in which they had no daytime or nighttime asthma symptoms. These children also
experienced better pulmonary responses and inflammatory biomarkers. As a comparison,
29.3 % of participants had at least one more asthma control day per week during
treatment with fluticasone than during treatment with montelukast (12.2 %).
The results of this study indicate that inhaled corticosteroids
may be the most effective treatment for persistent asthma in children. It
is best to
discuss all treatment options with the child’s physician in order to
effectively choose the correct treatment.