Study design (if review, criteria of inclusion for studies)
Randomized controlled trial
Ten subjects with CF
Three different physiotherapy methods to augment cough-clearance were studied in addition to cough-clearance alone: high-frequency chest-wall oscillating vest, oscillatory positive expiratory pressure, and whole-body vibration.
Gamma scintigraphy after inhalation of radiolabeled particles to quantify mucus clearance before, during, and after physiotherapy. As secondary endpoints, concentrations of small molecules in exhaled breath that may impact mucus clearance.
No differences were identified between any method of airway clearance, including cough clearance alone. We did identify changes in certain small molecule concentrations in exhaled breath following airway clearance.
Due to the limitations of this study, we do not believe the negative results suggest a change in clinical practice with regard to airway clearance. Findings pertaining to small molecules in exhaled breath may serve as future opportunities for study.