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J Aerosol Med. 2000 Summer;13(2):73-86.

Regional mucociliary clearance in patients with cystic fibrosis.

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Respiratory Investigation Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


This paper reports on a large retrospective analysis of mucociliary clearance (MCC) studies in a group of 59 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and 17 age-matched healthy subjects. As many of the CF patients were studied on multiple occasions, a total of 184 patient studies are presented. MCC was measured using a radioaerosol and gamma camera technique. In addition to whole lung clearance, MCC was measured from the central, intermediate, peripheral, basal, mid and apical regions of the lung. MCC was markedly decreased in the CF patient group. Not only was whole lung clearance (14.2 +/- 1.4% vs. 28.0 +/- 3.7%) impaired, but also clearance from the central (19.1 +/- 1.9% vs. 35.6 +/- 4.3%), intermediate (10.7 +/- 1.6% vs. 25.5 +/- 3.7%), apical (12.4 +/- 2.6% vs. 31.6 +/- 4.6%) and mid (14.0 +/- 1.9% vs. 30.4 +/- 4.0%) regions. Attempts were made to identify factors that may have influenced MCC in both the normal subjects and CF patients. Age, gender, body mass index, patient genotype, penetration index, spontaneous cough, and various lung function parameters were entered into a stepwise multiple regression model, but none of the factors proved to be statistically important in determining MCC. Both intrasubject repeatability and intersubject variability estimates are presented for the patients and normal subjects that had multiple studies. The values were found to be remarkably similar for both CF patients and normal subjects and for both intra- and intersubject repeatability. With marked deviation from normal ranges and good repeatability, the measurement of MCC in CF patients would seem to be a valuable outcome measure for clinical trials involving new pharmaceuticals and physical therapy designed to improve removal of secretions from the airways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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