Sputum induction in routine clinical care of children with cystic fibrosis

J Pediatr. 2010 Dec;157(6):1006-1011.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jul 14.


Objective: To determine the microbiological yield of induced sputum (IS) samples compared with conventional airway samples, spontaneously expectorated sputum and throat swabs, in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) attending an outpatient clinic.

Study design: Ninety-five children with CF (75 able to spontaneously expectorate sputum) were included in this prospective cross-sectional comparative study. After obtaining expectorated sputum or throat swabs samples, IS was obtained by performing the sputum induction procedure using an eFlow device (PARI, Starnberg, Germany). CF bacterial culture results were compared between the two procedures.

Results: Differences in culture results between samples were observed in 25 of 94 (27%) patients. IS had a significantly higher yield for CF pathogens, with 80% of the differences being due to detection of additional organisms in IS samples. Overall, SI was well tolerated, but 12 of 95 cases had a >20% postinduction decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second. The whole SI procedure took 30 to 85 minutes of clinic time, and its estimated additional cost was $150 (US)/patient.

Conclusions: Induced sputum has a higher microbiological yield compared with the conventional samples in children with CF, even in patients capable of expectorating sputum spontaneously. Although sputum induction is safe and tolerable, it is time-consuming and expensive in routine clinical settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology*