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OBJECTIVE: A well-controlled study in patients with allergic asthma was warranted to assess dose-dependency between fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and sputum eosinophils to a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid plus a long-acting β2-agonist. We sought to characterize the dose-dependency of mometasone furoate/formoterol (MF/F) using FeNO and sputum eosinophil percentage as surrogates of airway inflammation in subjects with allergic asthma. METHODS: Following a 2-week, open-label run-in, 93 subjects (≥12 y) using only short-acting beta agonist reliever medication as needed, were randomized to twice daily (BID) placebo; MF/F 100/10 μg, 200/10 μg, or 400/10 μg (via pressurized metered-dose inhaler [MDI]); MF-MDI 200 μg; or MF 200 μg via dry powder inhaler (DPI) during a 2-week, double-blind treatment period. RESULTS: All active treatments demonstrated significant percentage reductions from baseline in FeNO compared with placebo at all time points (P ≤ 0.034). At endpoint, mean MF/F treatment group FeNO reductions ranged from -35.3% to -61.4%. Sputum eosinophil percentage reductions from baseline were significant compared with placebo for the MF/F 200/10 μg, MF/F 400/10 μg, and MF-DPI 200 μg groups at endpoint (P ≤ 0.023). Escalating MF/F doses significantly reduced both FeNO (P ≤ 0.001) and sputum eosinophil (P ≤ 0.022) levels in a dose-dependent manner at all time points. All treatments were well tolerated; no serious adverse events were observed. CONCLUSION: All 3 MF/F doses demonstrated pronounced, clinically meaningful, dose-dependent reductions in FeNO, with reduced sputum eosinophil levels for MF/F 200/10 μg and MF/F 400/10 μg. These findings suggest both inflammatory markers may be useful in assessing corticosteroid responsiveness in asthma patients, and perhaps identifying the same asthma subphenotype. Clinical NCT00635882.

Original publication




Journal article


Respir Med

Publication Date





656 - 664


Administration, Inhalation, Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists, Adult, Asthma, Breath Tests, Bronchodilator Agents, Circadian Rhythm, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Double-Blind Method, Drug Combinations, Eosinophils, Ethanolamines, Female, Formoterol Fumarate, Glucocorticoids, Humans, Leukocyte Count, Male, Middle Aged, Mometasone Furoate, Nitric Oxide, Peak Expiratory Flow Rate, Pregnadienediols, Sputum, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult