The purpose of this study is to see if the use of a machine called CPAP will help children
with asthma breathe better. CPAP is a machine that produces airflow to help people with
breathing problems. To use it, you will wear a mask connected by a hose to the CPAP machine.
We believe that use of CPAP may be a treatment for children with asthma.
During the previous funding period of this project, our laboratory demonstrated that chronic
mechanical strain imposed on the airways in vivo using continuous positive airway pressure
(CPAP) results in a dramatic reduction in airway reactivity in vivo in mice, ferrets and
rabbits1-3. Lungs, airways and airway smooth muscle (ASM) tissues isolated from CPAP-treated
animals studied in vitro exhibited lower responsiveness to bronchoconstrictors1-3. We also
observed this suppression of airway responsiveness by chronic mechanical strain in a rabbit
model of allergic asthma5. These animal studies led to a small clinical trial in which
adults with asthma were treated with nocturnal CPAP for 1 week. CPAP caused a significant
reduction in airway reactivity in these patients6. This novel approach for treating airway
hyper-reactivity is currently being evaluated in a NIH multi-center Phase II clinical trial
of adults with mild to moderate asthma (U01 HL108730).
- Children 8-17 yrs olds with severe asthma (N=120) will be recruited from the
Pediatric High Risk Asthma Clinic and Pulmonary Clinics at Riley Hospital for
Children at Indiana University Health.
- Severe asthma will be defined by the need for medication therapies following steps
4-6 according to the National Institutes of Health's Asthma Care Quick Reference,
September 2012 or high dose of inhaled corticosteroids
- On a stable regimen of asthma medications for at least 8 weeks prior to enrollment
without systemic corticosteroids for ≥ 4 weeks
- Obese (>95% predicted BMI)
- Congenital heart disease or chronic lung disease
- History of pneumothorax
- Inability to perform pulmonary function testing
- Oxygen saturation <93%
- forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) <70% predicted
- PC20 ≥16 mg/ml of methacholine.