Increased inspiratory flow rate has been demonstrated to decrease pulmonary deposition of inhaled aerosols. To study the effect of inspiratory flow rate regulation on the physiologic response to an active substance administered by aerosol, we compared the effect of high unregulated flow rate (66 to 212 L/min) with regulated low flow rate (20 to 35 L/min) on nebulizer output and on the pulmonary response to methacholine in patients with asthma. Four No. 646 DeVilbiss nebulizers were used in sequence with a nebulization dosimeter to deliver tenfold incremental concentrations of methacholine aerosol (mass median aerodynamic diameter = 1.52 μm; geometric standard deviation = 1.96) ranging from 0.025 to 25 mg/ml. When flow was unregulated, nebulizer output was not greater than when flow was regulated, but coefficients of variation of output were significantly greater (p < 0.01). The PD20 on the two unregulated days was significantly different (p = 0.01), whereas the PD20 on the two flow regulated days was not significantly different (p > 0.05). We conclude that regulation of inspiratory flow rate at rates within the range of tidal breathing significantly decreases variability in nebulizer output and variation of pulmonary responses to methacholine challenge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy