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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Jul;150(1):66-71.

Mucociliary clearance in patients with cystic fibrosis and in normal subjects.

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Department of Respiratory and Nuclear Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


The aim of this study was to examine baseline mucociliary clearance (MCC) in patients with cystic fibrosis (n = 30; mean +/- SEM age, 23 +/- 1 yr; FEV1, 68 +/- 5% pred; range, 14 to 126%) and a group of normal subjects (n = 12; mean age, 27 +/- 1 yr) after an aerosol deposition of 99mTc-sulphur colloid (mass median diameter, 4.8 microns; geometric standard deviation, 1.6). Dynamic geometric mean images were formed from gamma camera data, and the percent clearance of activity after 60 min (%C60) was calculated for the whole right lung. Initial deposition of the aerosol was determined in terms of the penetration index, the ratio of peripheral to central activity. For normal subjects, an increase in mean inspiratory flow rate (MIFR) (49 +/- 5 versus 21 +/- 3 L/min, p < 0.05) resulted in an increase in whole right lung MCC (%C60, 31 +/- 4 versus 18 +/- 2%; p < 0.05). When aerosol delivery was controlled (MIFR, 34 +/- 5 versus 36 +/- 5 L/min), there was excellent reproducibility between studies (whole lung %C60, 34 +/- 8 versus 31 +/- 7; NS). The measurement of MCC was highly reproducible in six patients studied on four occasions with a mean coefficient of variation of 3.3 +/- 1%. A breathing pattern to accentuate central deposition was utilized in the patient studies (MIFR, 49 +/- 4 L/min).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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