Comparison of intrapulmonary percussive ventilation and chest physiotherapy. A pilot study in patients with cystic fibrosis

Chest. 1994 Jun;105(6):1789-93. doi: 10.1378/chest.105.6.1789.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Drainage, Postural
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mucociliary Clearance / physiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods*
  • Ventilators, Mechanical*


  • Albuterol