Purpose: Clearance of mucus from airways is the cornerstone of therapy for lung disease in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This paper describes the operation of the Frequencer, a novel respiratory physiotherapy device comprised of an electro-acoustical transducer. We hypothesized that the Frequencer would be a safe and effective therapy to help clear secretions from the airways of subjects with CF.
Methods: To verify this hypothesis, 22 individuals with CF were recruited to this study comparing sputum production during conventional chest physiotherapy (CCPT) and Frequencer therapy using a crossover design. The sputum weight was the main outcome measure.
Results: Sputum weight was found to be a reproducible measure of the efficacy of chest physiotherapy in individual patients. The Frequencer induced airway clearance in patients with CF that was equivalent to that of CCPT. Furthermore, treatment of a 4% mucin preparation ex vivo with the Frequencer significantly reduced the viscosity of the mucin solution as determined in a capillary rheometer.
Conclusions: These results indicate the Frequencer is safe and as effective as CCPT in inducing airway clearance in patients with CF.