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August 1987

Use of Steroids and a Long-Acting Vasoconstrictor in the Treatment of Postintubation Croup: A Ferret Model

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr Postma is presently in private practice in Tallahassee, Fla.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(8):844-849. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860080050015

• There is little in the literature to support recommendations for the use of steroids and vasoconstrictors in the treatment of postintubation croup. We developed a ferret model to study this condition. Ninety-eight ferrets were used in these experiments, which were undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of steroids and/or a long-acting vasoconstrictor, to develop dose-response curves for dexamethasone sodium phosphate if it proved efficacious, and to evaluate the possible synergistic effects of combination therapy. With this animal model, we were able to document a statistically significant early effect of dexamethasone sodium phosphate, but only when administered in large doses (>0.5 mg/kg). Our data also support the tapering of these large doses within a 20-hour period. The long-acting vasoconstrictor oxymetazoline hydrochloride has a clear and statistically significant beneficial effect that is apparent by 20 hours and continues through 40 hours. We did not find any additive or synergistic effect of the combination of dexamethasone and oxymetazoline. Further studies are underway in our laboratory to elucidate other aspects of this interesting syndrome.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1987;113:844-849)

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