Send to

Choose Destination
Pulm Med. 2012;2012:380686. doi: 10.1155/2012/380686. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

The effects of gas humidification with high-flow nasal cannula on cultured human airway epithelial cells.

Author information

Nemours Biomedical Research, Nemours Research Lung Center, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA ; Department of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, 1025 Walnut Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA ; Department of Pediatrics, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA.


Humidification of inspired gas is important for patients receiving respiratory support. High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) effectively provides temperature and humidity-controlled gas to the airway. We hypothesized that various levels of gas humidification would have differential effects on airway epithelial monolayers. Calu-3 monolayers were placed in environmental chambers at 37°C with relative humidity (RH) < 20% (dry), 69% (noninterventional comparator), and >90% (HFNC) for 4 and 8 hours with 10 L/min of room air. At 4 and 8 hours, cell viability and transepithelial resistance measurements were performed, apical surface fluid was collected and assayed for indices of cell inflammation and function, and cells were harvested for histology (n = 6/condition). Transepithelial resistance and cell viability decreased over time (P < 0.001) between HFNC and dry groups (P < 0.001). Total protein secretion increased at 8 hours in the dry group (P < 0.001). Secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in the dry group was greater than the other groups at 8 hours (P < 0.001). Histological analysis showed increasing injury over time for the dry group. These data demonstrate that exposure to low humidity results in reduced epithelial cell function and increased inflammation.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Hindawi Limited Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center