Aim: to evaluate the effects of a dry salt inhaler in adults with COPD (stages II and III).
Method: All 35 patients were under correct treatment according to GOLD guidelines for at least two weeks prior to the start of the study. The patients were given dry salt inhalers (which generated dry 1-5 microm NaCl particles) and were asked to use them up to 30 minutes per day. Spirometry tests and six minutes walk tests were performed initially and after one, two and three months.
Results: As far as spirometry results are concerned no statistically significant results were recorded. However we found out there was a statistically significant improvement in the six minutes walk test values and quality of life assessed by means of Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire. There were no serious adverse events. Minor adverse events were represented by sore throat sensation usually after prolonged exposure to salt (over 15 minutes continuously)--this improved promptly with temporarily discontinuation and no additional action was necessary.
Conclusion: Dry salt inhaler therapy may prove to be a useful adjuvant therapy in COPD as far as effort tolerance and quality of life is concerned. However further studies are probably needed to exclude a placebo effect which could not be quantified under present circumstances.