Effect of aerosolized rhDNase (Pulmozyme) on pulmonary colonization in patients with cystic fibrosis

Acta Paediatr. 2006 Sep;95(9):1070-4. doi: 10.1080/08035250600752466.


Background: Aerosolized recombinant human deoxyribonuclease (rhDNase I (Pulmozyme)) has previously been shown to increase pulmonary function and reduce exacerbations of respiratory symptoms in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with moderate to severe reduction in pulmonary function.

Aim: To analyse whether aerosolized Pulmozyme could reduce the number of bacterial infections in the lower respiratory airways of CF patients without chronic pulmonary infection.

Methods: Patients were randomized either to aerosolized Pulmozyme 2(1/2) mg once daily or to no rhDNase treatment. The study period was 1 y, and the study was blinded for the Department of Clinical Microbiology.

Results: Overall, the number of positive cultures was significantly higher in the untreated group (82%) compared with the treated group (72%) (p<0.05). The most striking difference was found for Staphylococcus aureus, with a prevalence of 30% in the untreated group compared with 16% in the treated group (chi2 test, p<0.0001). Pulmonary function (FEV1) in the treated group showed a significant increase of 7.3% compared to 0.9% in the untreated group (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Long-term DNase treatment was beneficial to CF patients without chronic lower respiratory tract infection, leading to reduced demand for antibiotics and to improved lung function.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / administration & dosage
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNASE1 protein, human
  • Deoxyribonuclease I