Comparison of inhaled mannitol/dornase alfa combination and daily dornase alfa alone in children with cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2022 Jan;57(1):142-151. doi: 10.1002/ppul.25740. Epub 2021 Oct 27.


Objectives: Inhaled recombinant human deoxyribonuclease (dornase alfa) and osmotic agents such as inhaled mannitol are used for improving the clearance of secretions of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. We aimed to evaluate the long-term clinical effects of adding dry powder inhaled (DPI) mannitol in subjects with CF who are taking daily dornase alfa.

Method: We conducted a retrospective case-control study on subjects with CF. The effect of DPI mannitol was assessed by comparing DPI mannitol and dornase alfa combination with daily dornase alfa alone in children with CF during a 12-month period. The primary outcome measures of the study were absolute changes in percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FEV1 z-scores and the secondary outcomes included other spirometry indices, body mass index, frequency of pulmonary exacerbations, SPO2 , and sputum microbiology.

Result: Of a total of 28 patients who committed to use DPI mannitol treatments during the study period, five had a positive challenge with DPI mannitol and two were aged over 18 years. Therefore, the mannitol treatment group consisted of 21 patients. However, the effect of DPI mannitol was analyzed using 15 patients in the mannitol treatment group who received DPI mannitol for at least 12 months, and 18 patients who only used dornase alfa constituted the control group. The median absolute change in FEV1 between baseline and the third month; and baseline and the 12th month were significantly higher in the mannitol treatment group (p = 0.038, p = 0.004, respectively). When the groups are compared with respect to absolute z-score changes, all spirometry indices, except FVC at the end of 3 months, showed statistically significant improvements in the mannitol treatment group. Some secondary outcomes like pulmonary exacerbation frequency during the study year and median absolute body mass index z-score changes from baseline to the end of the study showed no significant differences between the groups (p = 0.735, p = 0.161, respectively). No colonization changes were observed in the treatment group.

Conclusions: This study showed that in those patients who tolerated long-term (12 months) treatment with DPI mannitol and dornase alfa made greater improvements in FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75 z-scores than treatment with dornase alfa alone in children with CF.

Keywords: cystic fibrosis; dornase alfa; inhaled mannitol; lung function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / drug therapy
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Humans
  • Mannitol
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Mannitol
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • dornase alfa