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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Feb;271(2):359-66. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2528-7. Epub 2013 May 1.

Ex vivo water exchange performance and short-term clinical feasibility assessment of newly developed heat and moisture exchangers for pulmonary rehabilitation after total laryngectomy.

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Department of Head and Neck Oncology and Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Laryngectomized patients suffer from respiratory complaints due to insufficient warming and humidification of inspired air in the upper respiratory tract. Improvement of pulmonary humidification with significant reduction of pulmonary complaints is achieved by the application of a heat and moisture exchanger (HME) over the tracheostoma. The aim of this study was to determine whether the new Provox HMEs (XM-HME and XF-HME) have a better water exchange performance than their predecessors (R-HME and L-HME, respectively; Atos Medical, Hörby, Sweden). The other aim was to assess the short-term clinical feasibility of these HMEs. The XM-HME and XF-HME were weighed at the end of inspiration and at the end of expiration at different breathing volumes produced by a healthy volunteer. The associations between weight changes, breathing volume and absolute humidity were determined using both linear and non-linear mixed effects models. Study-specific questionnaires and tally sheets were used in the clinical feasibility study. The weight change of the XM-HME is 3.6 mg, this is significantly higher than that of the R-HME (2.0 mg). The weight change of the XF-HME (2.0 mg) was not significantly higher than that of the L-HME (1.8 mg). The absolute humidity values of both XM- and XF-HME were significantly higher than that of their predecessors. The clinical feasibility study did not reveal any practical problems over the course of 3 weeks. The XM-HME has a significantly better water exchange performance than its predecessor (R-HME). Both newly designed HMEs did succeed in the clinical feasibility study.

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