Effects of unilateral bronchoconstriction on distribution of aerosols in ovine airways

Juan R. Sabater, Neal D. Atkins, Adam Wanner, Thomas G. O'Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to assess the effect of unilateral bronchoconstriction on the deposition patterns of aerosolized particles in a sheep model. Unilateral bronchoconstriction was induced in intubated conscious sheep by placing a protective, obstructing balloon catheter in either main bronchus, prior to administration of aerosolized carbachol at a dose that increased pulmonary resistance by 200-400% above baseline. The catheter was then removed and the animals were positioned under a gamma camera. An equilibrium image was obtained with xenon (133Xe), to determine a lung outline that was used to calculate the proportion of counts in each lung. Aerosols, labeled with technetium (99mTc) and generated by two jet nebulizers, were inhaled tidally by the sheep in serial experiments. (For nebulizer A, mass median aerodynamic diameter [MMAD] = 0.39 μm; for nebulizer B, MMAD = 1.1 μm.) For nebulizer A, percentage deposition in the treated and untreated lungs was not significantly different (50.8% versus 49.2%, respectively), while for nebulizer B, the median deposition in the carbachol treated lung was significantly greater than in the untreated lung (55.8% versus 44.2% respectively; p = 0.005). There was a more central pattern of deposition in the treated lung than in the untreated lung for both nebulizers, but the degree of central deposition was significantly greater with nebulizer B. The findings of the present study suggest that regional obstruction does not preclude the delivery of therapeutic aerosols to the airways in such a region, and may, depending on the size of the aerosol, result in enhanced airway deposition relative to less obstructed regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Aerosol Medicine: Deposition, Clearance, and Effects in the Lung
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Aerosol therapy
  • Fine particles
  • Regional ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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