Safety and use of sputum induction in children with cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2003 Apr;35(4):309-13. doi: 10.1002/ppul.10226.


We assessed the safety and use of induced sputum (IS) in children with cystic fibrosis (CF). Forty-eight children (19 males) with CF, mean age 12.6 (range, 7.3-17.0) years and median forced expired volume in 1 sec (FEV(1)) 48% (range, 14-77%) predicted were recruited. Patients spontaneously expectorated sputum and then performed sputum induction by inhalation of nebulized 7% hypertonic saline. Samples were sent for bacteriological culture, and for measurement of the following inflammatory mediators: interleukin-8, myeloperoxidase, eosinophil cationic protein, and neutrophil elastase activity. FEV(1) was performed before and after inhalation of hypertonic saline. There was no increase in mediator levels in IS compared to expectorated sputum (ES) samples. Only 3 patients demonstrated significant bronchoconstriction following inhalation of hypertonic saline, by the method used. From the ES samples, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated in 13 patients, Staphylococcus aureus in 7 patients, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in 1 patient, and both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in 5 patients. All these organisms were found in the IS samples. However, in 2 patients whose ES grew no organisms, one patient's IS grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the other patient's IS grew Staphylococcus aureus. In our study, sputum induction was safe, with no proinflammatory effect.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis
  • Male
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / pharmacology
  • Sputum / chemistry
  • Sputum / microbiology*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic