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Heliox-Powered Albuterol Therapy in the Treatment of Children Admitted With Acute Asthma Exacerbation

Information source: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Status Asthmaticus

Intervention: Helium-oxygen-driven albuterol nebulizer (Drug); Oxygen (Drug)

Phase: Phase 2

Status: Terminated

Sponsored by: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Derek S Wheeler, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether heliox-powered albuterol nebulizer therapy will result in reduced inpatient length of stay in children hospitalized with acute asthma exacerbations.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled, Single Center Trial of the Use of Heliox in Children Admitted to the Hospital With Status Asthmaticus

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Length of Stay

Detailed description: We hypothesize that heliox-powered albuterol nebulizer therapy will result in reduced inpatient length of stay in children hospitalized with acute asthma exacerbations. Severity of asthma will be characterized using a modified Becker Clinical Asthma Score (CAS) based upon the acuity of physical signs for four clinical characteristics (respiratory rate, wheezing, I/E ratio, and accessory muscle use). Scoring will occur at the time of enrollment and every 4 hours thereafter until the patient meets hospital discharge criteria. All scoring using the CAS will be performed by an independent physician, nurse or respiratory therapist blinded to the subject treatment arm. All children will receive standard cardiopulmonary monitoring and treatment, consisting of supplemental oxygen delivered as needed by either nasal cannula or face mask to maintain oxygen saturation >90%, maintenance intravenous fluids, corticosteroid therapy and nebulized albuterol therapy. After written informed consent, eligible children will be randomized to one of two study groups using a sealed envelope technique: Group 1 (Heliox-Powered Albuterol) patients will receive all albuterol nebulizer treatments, including continuous therapy, powered by 70: 30 Heliox. Group 2 (Oxygen-Powered Albuterol) patients will receive all albuterol nebulizer treatments, including continuous therapy, powered by 100% oxygen per usual standard of care.


Minimum age: 24 Months. Maximum age: 18 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Age 2 -18 years;

- Previous history of asthma;

- Hospital admission for acute asthma exacerbation;

- Clinical asthma score greater than or equal to 3

Exclusion Criteria:

- Less than 2 years old or over 18 years old;

- Known allergy or hypersensitivity to ß-agonists;

- Require mechanical ventilation (invasive or non-invasive);

- Require FiO2 >0. 4;

- Failure to obtain informed consent;

- Enrollment in another investigational drug or asthma protocol;

- Incipient respiratory failure including but limited to respiratory acidosis(pCO2>60

torr), altered mental status and/or excessive work of breathing.

Locations and Contacts

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, United States
Additional Information

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Related publications:

Rivera ML, Kim TY, Stewart GM, Minasyan L, Brown L. Albuterol nebulized in heliox in the initial ED treatment of pediatric asthma: a blinded, randomized controlled trial. Am J Emerg Med. 2006 Jan;24(1):38-42.

Kim IK, Phrampus E, Venkataraman S, Pitetti R, Saville A, Corcoran T, Gracely E, Funt N, Thompson A. Helium/oxygen-driven albuterol nebulization in the treatment of children with moderate to severe asthma exacerbations: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2005 Nov;116(5):1127-33.

Bandi V, Velamuri S, Sirgi C, Wendt J, Wendt R, Guntupalli K. Deposition pattern of heliox-driven bronchodilator aerosol in the airways of stable asthmatics. J Asthma. 2005 Sep;42(7):583-6.

Lee DL, Hsu CW, Lee H, Chang HW, Huang YC. Beneficial effects of albuterol therapy driven by heliox versus by oxygen in severe asthma exacerbation. Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Sep;12(9):820-7.

Ho AM, Lee A, Karmakar MK, Dion PW, Chung DC, Contardi LH. Heliox vs air-oxygen mixtures for the treatment of patients with acute asthma: a systematic overview. Chest. 2003 Mar;123(3):882-90. Review.

Kress JP, Noth I, Gehlbach BK, Barman N, Pohlman AS, Miller A, Morgan S, Hall JB. The utility of albuterol nebulized with heliox during acute asthma exacerbations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 May 1;165(9):1317-21.

Haynes JM, Sargent RJ, Sweeney EL. Use of heliox to avoid intubation in a child with acute severe asthma and hypercapnia. Am J Crit Care. 2003 Jan;12(1):28-30.

Rose JS, Panacek EA, Miller P. Prospective randomized trial of heliox-driven continuous nebulizers in the treatment of asthma in the emergency department. J Emerg Med. 2002 Feb;22(2):133-7.

Dorfman TA, Shipley ER, Burton JH, Jones P, Mette SA. Inhaled heliox does not benefit ED patients with moderate to severe asthma. Am J Emerg Med. 2000 Jul;18(4):495-7.

Schaeffer EM, Pohlman A, Morgan S, Hall JB. Oxygenation in status asthmaticus improves during ventilation with helium-oxygen. Crit Care Med. 1999 Dec;27(12):2666-70.

Kass JE, Terregino CA. The effect of heliox in acute severe asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Chest. 1999 Aug;116(2):296-300.

Henderson SO, Acharya P, Kilaghbian T, Perez J, Korn CS, Chan LS. Use of heliox-driven nebulizer therapy in the treatment of acute asthma. Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Feb;33(2):141-6.

Kudukis TM, Manthous CA, Schmidt GA, Hall JB, Wylam ME. Inhaled helium-oxygen revisited: effect of inhaled helium-oxygen during the treatment of status asthmaticus in children. J Pediatr. 1997 Feb;130(2):217-24.

Starting date: April 2006
Last updated: October 22, 2010

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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