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Dr. Babitha M.*, Ashlin Treesa Johnson, Vineeth Jayakumar, Pritty Anna Varghese, Karthik V. and I. John Wesley


Bronchoconstriction and airway inflammation are the main conditions of COPD and other lung diseases. Acute exacerbation of these conditions often lead to dyspnea, cough and increased sputum production, which ultimately cause significantly reduced health related quality of life, and increased morbidity and mortality. Inhaled corticosteroids, bronchodilators and beta 2agonists are being used in the treatment of COPD and asthma. However, it is reported that there is an increased risk of pneumonia in patients with COPD receiving regular inhaled corticosteroids and therefore we need to find other safer treatments. Heparin is clinically being used as an anticoagulant, but it has non anticoagulant properties too. It is shown in clinical experiments that non anticoagulant properties of heparin can be used to inhibit inflammatory responses. A study by Farzin Ghiazi reported that the effectiveness of nebulized heparin is comparable with a potent inhaled corticosteroids among ventilated patients. Heparin and its related derivatives have also shown to benefit patients with asthma. Studies have revealed that Heparin inhalation reduced bronchial hyper reactivity and prevents exercise-induced asthma. Potential mechanisms in anti-inflammatory effects of heparin have been discussed in a review by Young. Considering the results of studies, we can conclude that heparin could have potential anti inflammatory effects in treating lung disease. The purpose of this review is to consider all the relevant available study reports to point out that inhaled nebulised heparin can be considered for improving lung function in chronic pulmonary diseases.

Keywords: Inhaled nebulised heparin, Inflammation, Corticosteroids, COPD, Lung disease.

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