Pulmonary deposition of salbutamol aerosol delivered by metered dose inhaler, jet nebulizer, and ultrasonic nebulizer in mechanically ventilated rabbits

Pediatr Res. 1997 Nov;42(5):721-7. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199711000-00027.


The deposition efficiency of three methods of aerosol delivery of salbutamol into lungs of ventilated rabbits was compared: 1) metered dose inhaler (MDI) with holding chamber (HC), 2) jet nebulizer (JN), and 3) ultrasonic (US) nebulizer. The latter system was tested using two different sized medication reservoirs, a large (20 mL) cup (US20) and a small (10 mL) cup (US10). After delivery of technetium-99m-labeled salbutamol aerosol, deposition in the lungs, trachea, and ventilator circuit were estimated by a gamma counter. Total pulmonary deposition [mean(SEM)] as a percentage of the prescribed drug was: MDI + HC 0.22(0.05)%; JN 0.48(0.05)%; US20 0.90(0.13)%; US10 3.05(0.49)%. Only the deposition from the US10 was statistically significantly higher than the other modes (p < 0.05). Dynamic scintigraphy showed that, among the nebulizers, the US10 continued to deliver medication for longer than either the JN or the US20. We conclude that the US10 appears to be more efficient in delivering aerosol to the lung in this rabbit model and merits further evaluation for clinical efficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Albuterol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Bronchodilator Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gamma Rays
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Particle Size
  • Rabbits
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Trachea / metabolism


  • Aerosols
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Albuterol