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Exp Lung Res. 2001 Sep;27(6):469-84.

Lung clearance in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy or spinal muscular atrophy with and without CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).

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Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Bronchiolar clearance was studied in 7 boys in the age range of 8 to 17 years, 6 with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and 1 with spinal muscular atrophy type II (SMA-II). These boys had healthy lungs but a severely reduced muscular strength (wheelchair dependent). In 6 of the boys, clearance was studied twice, at one occasion as a control and at the other occasion following treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A control group of healthy adults was used. In the clearance examinations, 6-microm Teflon particles, labeled with III In was inhaled extremely slowly, 0.05 L/s. This gives a deposition mainly in the bronchioles. Lung retention was measured after 0,24,48, and 72 hours. A model for deposition of particles in the adult lung was scaled down to represent the children in this study. Deposition in various airway generations was calculated to be similar in children and adults. Also the measured retentions were similar in the boys and the adults. In the clearance experiments during CPAP treatment, there was a significantly lower retention after 72 hours (but not after 24 and 48 hours) than in the control experiments. Theresults indicate that a severe reduction of muscular strength, and thereby a reduction of mechanical movement of the lung, does not affect clearance from large and small airways. However, some effect of clearance from small airways cannot be excluded due to the short measuring period. The small but significant effect of the CPAP treatment might have potential clinical importance and suggest that bronchiolar clearance can be affected by some form of mechanical force.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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