Pharmacotherapy of impaired mucociliary clearance in non-CF pediatric lung disease. A review of the literature

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2007 Nov;42(11):989-1001. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20693.


Mucoactive agents are used to treat a variety of lung diseases involving impaired mucociliary clearance or mucus hypersecretion. The mucoactive agents studied most frequently are N-acetylcysteine (NAC), recombinant human DNase (rhDNase), and hypertonic saline. Studies on the efficacy of these have been mainly conducted in adults, and in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The exact role of mucoactive agents in children with non-CF lung disease is not well established. We present an overview of the current literature reporting clinical outcome measures of treatment with NAC, rhDNase, and hypertonic saline in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / therapeutic use
  • Expectorants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Mucociliary Clearance / drug effects*
  • Mucociliary Clearance / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / therapeutic use


  • Expectorants
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic
  • DNASE1 protein, human
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Acetylcysteine