COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

[Does the inhalation of a 1% L-menthol solution in the premedication of fiberoptic bronchoscopy affect coughing and the sensation of dyspnea?]

P Haidl, P Kemper, S J Butnarasu, M Klauke, H Wehde, D Köhler
Pneumologie 2001, 55 (3): 115-9
11303537

BACKGROUND: Inhalation of l-menthol inhibits cough and has been shown to reduce respiratory discomfort associated with loaded breathing. We investigated the effect of the inhalation of a 1% l-menthol solution in the premedication of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FB) on the frequency of cough and the irritability of the tracheobronchial mucosa during FB in a blinded, randomized and placebo controlled study.

METHODS: 64 pat. (30-78 yrs, 55 males) underwent routine FB. Premediction: atropine and hydrocodone s.c., inhalation of oxybuprocain by means of a jet nebulizer, sedation on demand. Verum-group: inhalation of 3 ml 1% l-menthol-solution. Placebo-group: 3 ml 0.05% l-menthol (to provide the typical smell). Before and after inhalation peak respiratory flow (PEF) was registered, during FB the frequency of cough was measured. The bronchoscopist scored the irritability of the tracheobronchial mucosa using a visual analog scale. The patients answered a questionnaire addressing their perception of dyspnea and cough on the day after FB compared to the day before.

RESULTS: The cough counts didn't show a significant difference between the groups. The irritability of the mucosa was increased in the verum group (main bronchus verum 62.2 +/- 22, placebo 48.6 +/- 23 [mm vissual analog scale, p = 0.03]). Cough and dyspnea reported by the patients decreased on the day after FB significantly compared to the day before (no difference between the groups). The inhalation of 1% l-menthol induced a significant increase of the PEF (verum 307 +/- 103 pre, 329 +/- 84 post [l/min, p = 0.003]) compared to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS: The inhalation of 1% l-menthol did not enhance the tolerability of the FB. However, l-menthol induced a significant increase of the PEF immediately after inhalation. Finally sensation of dyspnea was decreased in both groups at the day post FB.

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