International and Japanese guidelines classify childhood asthma as mild, moderate, or severe, and recommend treatment with “as needed” bronchodilators, inhaled sodium cromoglycate, and inhaled corticosteroids, respectively. Alternatively, some investigators proposed inhaled corticosteroids as first-line therapy to prevent airway inflammatory obstruction. This article describes a clinical study assessing the effect of early intervention with inhaled sodium cromoglycate in childhood asthma. This was a retrospective study of 189 asthmatic children treated with inhaled sodium cromoglycate for five years and whose age of onset of asthma was six year of age or younger. An end-of-study questionnaire completed the examination. Children administered oral or inhaled corticosteroids simultaneously with sodium cromoglycate, were excluded. Asthma scores as defined by the Japanese Pediatric Allergic Committee, were reduced continuously during the five years after the start of sodium cromoglycate treatment. The frequency of emergency department visits and hospitalizations also decreased. Significant between-period intervention differences showed improvement of clinical outcomes for children with severe asthma during the five years of sodium cromoglycate inhalation. The early intervention regime of starting sodium cromoglycate inhalation within two years of the onset of asthma shows a large improvement in the long-term prognosis of childhood asthma, especially for children with severe asthma. It is possible that starting inhaled sodium cromoglycate earlier than the present recommendation of corticosteroids could further improve clinical outcomes, but a prospective study should be performed to verify our results.
Sodium cromoglycate Children Asthma Early intervention Clinical study