High frequency chest wall oscillation for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations: a randomized sham-controlled clinical trial
Mahajan, Amit K.
Diette, Gregory B.
Harris, Vanessa Walker
Charbeneau, Jeff T.
Naureckas, Edward T.
Krishnan, Jerry A.
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Background: High frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) is used for airway mucus clearance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of HFCWO early in the treatment of adults hospitalized for acute asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: Randomized, multi-center, double-masked phase II clinical trial of active or sham treatment initiated within 24 hours of hospital admission for acute asthma or COPD at four academic medical centers. Patients received active or sham treatment for 15 minutes three times a day for four treatments. Medical management was standardized across groups. The primary outcomes were patient adherence to therapy after four treatments (minutes used/60 minutes prescribed) and satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included change in Borg dyspnea score (≥ 1 unit indicates a clinically significant change), spontaneously expectorated sputum volume, and forced expired volume in 1 second. Results: Fifty-two participants were randomized to active (n = 25) or sham (n = 27) treatment. Patient adherence was similarly high in both groups (91% vs. 93%; p = 0.70). Patient satisfaction was also similarly high in both groups. After four treatments, a higher proportion of patients in the active treatment group had a clinically significant improvement in dyspnea (70.8% vs. 42.3%, p = 0.04). There were no significant differences in other secondary outcomes. Conclusions: HFCWO is well tolerated in adults hospitalized for acute asthma or COPD and significantly improves dyspnea. The high levels of patient satisfaction in both treatment groups justify the need for sham controls when evaluating the use of HFCWO on patient-reported outcomes. Additional studies are needed to more fully evaluate the role of HFCWO in improving in-hospital and post-discharge outcomes in this population.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
high frequency chest wall oscillation
airway mucus clearance