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Pediatrics. 2010 Dec;126(6):e1493-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1377. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Aerosol inhalation from spacers and valved holding chambers requires few tidal breaths for children.

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School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.



The goal was to determine the number of breaths required to inhale salbutamol from different spacers/valved holding chambers (VHCs).


Breathing patterns were recorded for 2- to 7-year-old children inhaling placebo from 4 different spacers/VHCs and were simulated by a flow generator. Drug delivery with different numbers of tidal breaths and with a single maximal breath was compared.


With tidal breathing, mean inhalation volumes were large, ranging from 384 mL to 445 mL. Mean values for drug delivery with an Aerochamber Plus (Trudell, London, Canada) were 40% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 34%-46%) and 41% (95% CI: 36%-47%) of the total dose with 2 and 9 tidal breaths, respectively. Mean drug delivery values with these breath numbers with a Funhaler (Visiomed, Perth, Australia) were 39% (95% CI: 34%-43%) and 38% (95% CI: 35%-42%), respectively. With a Volumatic (GlaxoSmithKline, Melbourne, Australia), mean drug delivery values with 2 and 9 tidal breaths were 37% (95% CI: 33%-41%) and 43% (95% CI: 40%-46%), respectively (P = .02); there was no significant difference in drug delivery with 3 versus 9 tidal breaths. With the modified soft drink bottle, drug delivery. Drug delivery was not improved with a single maximal breath with any device.


For young children, tidal breaths through a spacer/VHC were much larger than expected. Two tidal breaths were adequate for small-volume VHCs and a 500-mL modified soft drink bottle, and 3 tidal breaths were adequate for the larger Volumatic VHC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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