High-frequency chest compressions (HFCC) have been suggested as an alternative to conventional chest physiotherapy to aid sputum clearance in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We aimed to compare the active cycle of breathing techniques (ACBT) with the Hayek Oscillator Cuirass, performing HFCC on secretion clearance in children with CF during an exacerbation. Ten children (7 males; median age, 14 years; range, 9-16) received either two supervised sessions using HFCC or two self-treatment ACBT sessions in random order on successive days. Baseline pulmonary function was similar prior to treatments. Sputum weight increased significantly with ACBT compared with HFCC during treatment (5.2 g vs. 1.1 g, P < 0.005, morning; 4.1 g vs. 0.7 g, P < 0.01, afternoon). Pulmonary function improved significantly after morning ACBT (forced vital capacity (FVC): 2.67 l to 2.76 l, P < 0.03; forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1): 1.59 l to 1.62 l, P < 0.03). Following afternoon ACBT, there was a significant increase in FVC (2.64 to 2.79, P < 0.02), but no significant change in FEV1. Pulmonary function did not change at any time following HFCC. Compared with ACBT, HFCC by Hayek Cuirass is not an effective airway clearance treatment modality for children with CF during an infective exacerbation.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.