Long-term improvement of lung clearance index in patients with mild cystic fibrosis lung disease: Does hypertonic saline play a role?

J Cyst Fibros. 2016 Jan;15(1):123-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


To assess whether long-term inhalation with hypertonic saline is able to halt the progression of mild CF lung disease, we analysed longitudinal data of lung clearance index (LCI) and spirometry. A total of 34 patients with mild lung disease (FEV1 ≥ 70% of predicted) had at least one LCI result before and ≥2 LCI measurements after start of hypertonic saline (HS) therapy. After a mean follow-up of 39.7 (SD 7.4) months after starting HS, LCI improved significantly from 7.89 (SD 1.35) at baseline to 6.96 (SD 1.03), and 19/34 patients had a normal LCI value at the last measurement. No decrease in mean FEV1 was observed. Thus, ventilation inhomogeneity can improve in patients with mild lung disease.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / physiopathology
  • Demulcents / administration & dosage
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mucociliary Clearance / drug effects*
  • Patient Acuity
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / administration & dosage*
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Demulcents
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic