Using nebulization, only a small proportion of the dose reaches the lungs, while the remainder is swallowed, exhaled into the atmosphere, or remains in the nebulizer. It was the purpose of this study to investigate whether wearing a noseclip during inhalation can improve lung deposition. Relative lung deposition was compared by inhalation of the marker substance, sodium cromoglycate (SCG), and measurement of urinary excretion of SCG. The SCG absorption half-life allows one to differentiate indirectly between a more or less peripheral deposition. Ten CF patients (9-18 years old) inhaled, under routine conditions, a solution containing 20 mg of SCG in a randomized crossover design through a mouthpiece, without and with a noseclip being worn. Following inhalation without and with a noseclip, no statistically significant difference was seen in the amount of SCG excreted in urine (0.9 +/- 0.4 mg vs. 1.0 +/- 0.5 mg; p = 0.402) and absorption half-life (93 +/- 25 min vs. 113 +/- 36 min; p = 0.083). In conclusion, wearing a noseclip during inhalation under conditions relevant to practice does not increase the amount deposited into the lungs of CF patients and, also, there has been no indication of a more peripheral lung deposition.