Safety of continuous nebulized albuterol for bronchospasm in infants and children

R. W. Katz, H. W. Kelly, M. R. Crowley, R. Grad, B. C. McWilliams, S. J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the incidence of cardiotoxicity in infants and children who receive continuous nebulized albuterol (CNA) for bronchospasm. Design. Prospective, case series. Setting. A university pediatric intensive care and pediatric subacute units. Patients. Nineteen infants and children who received CNA for at least 24 hours. Interventions. None. Measurements. Creatinine phosphokinase (CK) was measured at the time of admission and then at 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours while the patient received CNA. Isoenzyme CK-MB fractions were measured if CK concentration was ≥250 IU/L. One electrocardiogram was obtained for each patient during CNA treatment. All patients had continuous cardiac monitoring during continuous nebulization therapy. Main results. Creatinine phosphokinase levels remained within normal limits for 16 patients during CNA treatment. Three patients had elevated CK and in two CK-MB fractions were elevated at one measurement. None of the electrocardiograms showed evidence of ischemia and no arrhythmias were noted during CNA therapy, even in the patients with elevated CK-MB fractions. Conclusions. Continuous albuterol therapy appears to be safe in our patient population as there was no significant evidence of cardiotoxicity. The significance of the transient elevation of CK-MB without other evidence of cardiotoxicity remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-669
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • arrhythmia
  • bronchospasm
  • cardiotoxicity
  • continuous nebulization
  • creatinine phosphokinase
  • myocardial ischemia
  • talbuterol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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