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J Child Neurol. 2010 Jul;25(7):815-21. doi: 10.1177/0883073809350223. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of high-frequency chest wall oscillation in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular diseases: an exploratory randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pulmonology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


Airway secretions and infections are common in cerebral palsy and neuromuscular diseases. Chest physiotherapy is standard therapy but effort is substantial. High-frequency chest wall oscillation is used in cystic fibrosis but tolerability and safety data in cerebral palsy and neuromuscular disease are limited. A prospective, randomized, controlled trial of high-frequency chest wall oscillation and standard chest physiotherapy was performed in participants with neuromuscular disease or cerebral palsy. Outcome measures included respiratory-related hospitalizations, antibiotic therapy, chest radiographs, and polysomnography. Care-givers were questioned regarding therapy adherence. A total of 28 participants enrolled, 23 completed (12 chest physiotherapy, mean study period 5 months). No adverse outcomes were reported. Adherence to prescribed regimen was higher with high-frequency chest wall oscillation (P = .036). Our data suggest safety, tolerability, and better compliance with high-frequency chest wall oscillation. Improvement in airway clearance may help prevent hospitalizations. Larger controlled trials are required to confirm these results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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