SPECT-CT Comparison of Lung Deposition using a System combining a Vibrating-mesh Nebulizer with a Valved Holding Chamber and a Conventional Jet Nebulizer: a Randomized Cross-over Study

Pharm Res. 2017 Feb;34(2):290-300. doi: 10.1007/s11095-016-2061-7. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Purpose: To compare in vivo the total and regional pulmonary deposition of aerosol particles generated by a new system combining a vibrating-mesh nebulizer with a specific valved holding chamber and constant-output jet nebulizer connected to a corrugated tube.

Methods: Cross-over study comparing aerosol delivery to the lungs using two nebulizers in 6 healthy male subjects: a vibrating-mesh nebulizer combined with a valved holding chamber (Aerogen Ultra®, Aerogen Ltd., Galway, Ireland) and a jet nebulizer connected to a corrugated tube (Opti-Mist Plus Nebulizer®, ConvaTec, Bridgewater, NJ). Nebulizers were filled with diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid labelled with technetium-99 m (99mTc-DTPA, 2 mCi/4 mL). Pulmonary deposition of 99mTc-DTPA was measured by single-photon emission computed tomography combined with a low dose CT-scan (SPECT-CT).

Results: Pulmonary aerosol deposition from SPECT-CT analysis was six times increased with the vibrating-mesh nebulizer as compared to the jet nebulizer (34.1 ± 6.0% versus 5.2 ± 1.1%, p < 0.001). However, aerosol penetration expressed as the three-dimensional normalized ratio of the outer and the inner regions of the lungs was similar between both nebulizers.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the high superiority of the new system combining a vibrating-mesh nebulizer with a valved holding chamber to deliver nebulized particles into the lungs as comparted to a constant-output jet nebulizer with a corrugated tube.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02298101.

Keywords: Aerosol delivery; Healthy subjects; Single photon emission computed tomography; Spacer; Vibrating-mesh nebulizer.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Aerosols / chemistry
  • Aerosols / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Equipment Design / methods
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Spacers
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Particle Size
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Technetium / chemistry
  • Technetium / metabolism
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate / chemistry
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Aerosols
  • Technetium-99
  • Technetium
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02298101