Anticholinergic therapy for bronchiectasis

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Background: Anticholinergic agents block bronchoconstriction mediated by the vagus nerve and may also dry up bronchial secretions. They are effective in obstructive airways disease and may be beneficial in bronchiectasis. Objectives: To determine the effect of anticholinergic therapy in acute exacerbations and stable bronchiectasis. Search methods: The Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register was searched and bibliographies of retrieved papers were checked. Searches are current as of May 2011. Selection criteria: Only randomised controlled trials were considered. Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers assessed the retrieved studies working independently. Main results: Twelve studies were identified, of which six were obtained for further scrutiny. One was translated from Italian. None met the inclusion criteria. An update search conducted in May 2011 did not yield any new studies. Authors' conclusions: No formal recommendations can be made about the use of anticholinergic therapy in acute or stable bronchiectasis based on the literature currently available.




Lasserson, T. J., Holt, K., Evans, D. J., Milan, S. J., & Greenstone, M. (2001). Anticholinergic therapy for bronchiectasis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011(6).

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