High-frequency chest compression system to aid in clearance of mucus from the lung

Biomed Instrum Technol. Jul-Aug 1990;24(4):289-94.


The authors developed a high-frequency chest compression (HFCC) device to aid in mucous clearance for patients with obstructive lung disease. The device, designed for self-therapy, consists of a large-volume variable-frequency air-pulse delivery system and a nonstretchable inflatable vest worn by the patient. Pressure pulses are controlled by the patient and applied during expiration. Pulse frequency is tunable from 5 to 25 Hz. Maximum vest pressure is 39 mmHg (5.2 kPa), with patient-controlled vest inflation and deflation time constants of 0.5 s. Vest pressure increases from 28 mmHg (3.7 kPa) at 5 Hz to 39 mmHg (5.2 kPa) at 25 Hz. Preliminary clinical trials have shown the HFCC device to be more effective than standard chest physical therapy. The HFCC device yielded a mean volume of cleared mucus of 3.3 cc per session, compared with 1.8 cc for a conventional therapy session.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Clothing
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucociliary Clearance
  • Mucus*
  • Pressure
  • Respiratory Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods
  • Self Care / instrumentation*
  • Sputum*
  • Thorax / physiology