Study objective: To compare the intrapulmonary percussive ventilator (IPV) to chest physiotherapy (P&PD) with respect to acute changes in (1) pulmonary function and (2) sputum physical properties in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Design: Randomized crossover.
Setting: Community-based CF referral center.
Participants: Nine nonhospitalized person (range, 7 to 40 years; median, 12.4 years) with moderate to excellent Shwachman scores.
Interventions: Three treatment regimens: (1) 2.5 mg albuterol delivered via IPV (internal percussive component activated); (2) 2.5 mg. albuterol delivered via IPV (internal percussive component inactivated), followed by P&PD; and (3) 2.5 mg albuterol delivered via updraft nebulizer, followed by P&PD.
Measurements and results: Outcome measures included pulmonary function testing (PFTs) and quantitative and qualitative sputum analysis. Among the three treatment groups, there were no significant differences in the change in predicted PFTs 1 h or 4 h after treatment, nor in the volume of sputum expectorated in the first 4 or in the subsequent 20 h. Among patients receiving IPV, more serious disease was associated with greater improvement in FEF25-75 1 h after treatment, but these differences disappeared by 4 h. There were no meaningful differences in viscoelastic characteristics of sputum expectorated after each treatments. Participants reported general satisfaction with no adverse effects while using IPV.
Conclusions: This initial pilot study suggests (1) stable patients with CF tolerated one treatment of IPV without adverse sequelae, and (2) IPV was as effective as standard aerosol and P&PD in improving short-term PFT results and enhancing sputum expectoration.