Use of the lung flute for sputum induction in children with cystic fibrosis: A pilot study


This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Lung Flute in obtaining a sputum sample from children with cystic fibrosis (CF) that were not productive of sputum with coughing alone. Children attending an outpatient CF clinic who were not able to provide a sample with coughing alone were eligible. Each child used the Lung Flute on two occasions at least one month apart. The primary outcome was expectoration of a sputum sample. Secondary outcomes were sputum microbiology, time taken for the procedure, and ease of use of the device as assessed by the patient using a visual analogue scale (VAS), with 0/10 representing very easy and 10/10 representing very hard. Twenty-five children participated (15 males, mean age 12.7 range 6.5-17.9). Overall, a sputum sample was obtained on 26/50 (52%) uses of the device. In children that presented with a moist cough, a sample was obtained on 17/17 (100%) occasions, compared to 9/33 (27%) occasions when a child presented with a dry cough. A positive culture result for at least one known CF pathogen was found in 24/26 samples. Culture results from obtained samples resulted in management changes in 12 cases. Mean time taken to obtain a sample was 9.8 min (SD 2.2). Mean ease of use on the VAS was 1.5 (SD 1.6). Conclusion: The lung flute appears to be a clinically useful and easy device for sputum induction in children with CF. Further research comparing its effectiveness to other sputum induction methods is warranted.

Read the original story which was published on 8th December 2014.

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