High frequency oral airway oscillation and high frequency chest wall compression are as effective as conventional chest physical therapy for mucus clearance in patients with cystic fibrosis

Thomas A. Scherer, J. Barandun, E. Martinez, Adam Wanner, E. M. Rubin

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Purpose: The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of newer techniques (high frequency oral airway oscillation (HFOA) and high frequency chest wall compression (HFCW) against conventional chest physical therapy (CPT) to help clear secretions in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Methods: 14 stable outpatients with CF were prospectively studied. Two settings of HFOA (I:E 9:1, 8 Hz; and I:E 8:1, 14 Hz), using the Sensormedics 3100B and MCT-1 oscillators, respectively, and two settings of HFCW (I:E 4:1, 3 Hz; and vibration at 16 Hz for 2 minutes alternating with I:E 6:1, 1.5 Hz for 3 minutes), using the Hayek oscillator, and CPT (clapping, vibration with an electrically driven pad, postural drainage and coughing) were randomly applied during the first 20 minutes of 4 consecutive hours. Only one mode of treatment was given the same day with a minimal interval of 2 days between treatments. Sputum was collected hourly for 6 hours starting one hour before the first treatment. To assess the treatment effect the wet and dry sputum weights of the first hour were compared to the respective mean weights collected during the following hours. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) were done before and after the treatments and oxygen saturation was measured with a pulse orimeter in 30 minute intervals. Results: All treatment modalities increased sputum production to a comparable extent. PFT and oxygen saturation were not adversely affected by any treatment. Conclusion: HFOA and HFCW are as effective and as well tolerated as CPT in stable patients with CF. Clinical Implications: HFOA and HFCW offer the advantage of independent treatment at home and increased patient autonomy. By reducing the need for skilled workers they may help control health care costs.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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