Disposable versus reusable jet nebulizers for cystic fibrosis treatment with tobramycin

J Cyst Fibros. 2011 Mar;10(2):86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Nov 12.


Background: Jet nebulizers are commonly used to administer aerosolized tobramycin to CF patients. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of disposable jet nebulizers as an alternative to reusable nebulizers such as the Pari LC Plus.

Method: From a survey conducted in 49 CF centers in France, 18 disposable jet nebulizer systems were selected. An in vitro study was performed with 20 jet nebulizer/air source combinations (18 disposable and 2 reusable) to determine their performance with tobramycin solution (300 mg/5 mL). A scintigraphic deposition study in baboons was performed to validate the in vitro data.

Results: In vitro and in vivo results correlated. There was no overall relationship between the compressed air source and nebulizer performance, but the nebulizer interface was responsible for significantly different results.

Conclusions: None of the disposable nebulizers tested in this study can be recommended as an alternative to the Pari LC Plus nebulizer for tobramycin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Aerosols / pharmacokinetics
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Data Collection
  • Equipment Reuse*
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Masks / standards
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Papio
  • Particle Size
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / prevention & control
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Tobramycin / pharmacokinetics


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tobramycin