Airway physiology, autogenic drainage, and active cycle of breathing

Respir Care. 2002 Jul;47(7):778-85.


Airway clearance techniques are used to aid in mucus clearance in a variety of disease states. Autogenic drainage and active-cycle-of-breathing technique are 2 such modalities that rely heavily on basic airway physiology to enhance clearance. In this review I discuss the equal pressure point, huffing, and asynchronous and collateral ventilation, and review the literature and theory regarding autogenic drainage and active cycle of breathing. Selection of airway clearance techniques is discussed in the light of evidence-based medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Drainage, Postural*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mucociliary Clearance*
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena