Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of the test of incremental respiratory endurance (TIRE) with active cycle of breathing techniques (ACBT) [incorporating postural drainage (PD) and vibration] as methods of airway clearance in adults with bronchiectasis.
Design: A randomized crossover study in which a single session of ACBT (incorporating PD and vibration) was compared to a single session of TIRE was carried out in 20 patients (14 female) with stable, productive bronchiectasis.
Measurements: Weight of sputum (treatment plus 30 min) was the primary outcome measure recorded. Pre- and post-treatment measures of lung function and SpO2 were also recorded.
Results: All 20 patients were stable during the study period. Sputum weight expectorated during and 30 min post-ACBT (incorporating PD and vibration) treatment was significantly greater than the sputum weight expectorated during and 30 min post-TIRE treatment [mean difference 2.44 g (95% CI 0.43-4.45)].
Conclusion: ACBT (incorporating PD and vibration) is a more effective method of airway clearance in bronchiectasis than TIRE during single treatment sessions.