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An Pediatr (Barc). 2010 Mar;72(3):199-204. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2009.10.020. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

[Sputum induction in children: Technical development].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital Nostra Senyora de Meritxell, Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra.



To compare low and high flow nebulizers performance (total of samples) and its side effects on sputum induction in asthmatic children.


Sputum induction was performed by inhalation of a hypertonic saline solution at increasing concentrations (3%, 4% and 5%) using low flow (OMRON NE-U07; flow rate 1ml/min), or high flow (OMRON NE-U12; flow rate 3ml/min, and DeVilbiss Ultraneb 3000; flow rate 2.5ml/min) ultrasonic nebulizers.


We performed 49 inductions in 49 patients from 7 to 15 years old (in 15 children we used a low flow nebulizer (Omron NE-U07) and in 34 children a high flow nebulizer (OMRON NEU12, 6 patients, and DeVilbiss Ultraneb 3000, 28 patients). We obtained 37 samples of which 36 had less than 20% of squamous cells, and 26 had a viability > or =60%. The test performance was higher with high-flow nebulizers, obtaining 85.3% of samples compared to 53% (p=0.04). A total of 69% of samples obtained with the high flow nebulizer were valid, compared to 62.5% (p=0.7) with the low flow nebulizers. With high flow rate nebulizers the incidence of cough (17.6%, p=0.08) and itchy eyes (0%, p=0.02) decreased with the low flow nebulizer (47% and 20% respectively), but bad taste (82.3%, p <0.001) and salivation (14.7%, p=0.3) increased.


With high flow rate ultrasonic nebulizers we obtain a higher performance of the technique without an increase in significant side effects.

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