04 June 2020
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are prone to suffer from chronic bronchitis, which ultimately affects their quality of life and overall prognosis. Oscillating positive expiratory pressure (oPEP) devices are designed to aid in the mucus clearance by generating positive pressure pulses in the airways. The main aim of this study was to analyze the impact of a specific oPEP device – Aerobika ® – on top of standard of care medication in COPD patients’ lung dynamics and drug deposition.
In this single-arm pilot study, patients were assessed using standard spirometry tests and functional respiratory imaging (FRI) before and after a period of 15±3 days of using the oPEP device twice daily (before their standard medication).
The utilization of the oPEP device led to a significant increase of 2.88% in specific airway volume after two weeks (1.44 (SE: 0.18) vs 1.48 (SE: 0.19); 95% CI = [0.03%,5.81%]; p=0.048). Moreover, the internal airflow distribution (IAD) was affected by the treatment: patients’ changes ranged from −6.74% to 4.51%. Furthermore, IAD changes at the lower lobes were also directly correlated with variations in forced expiratory volume in one second and peak expiratory flow; conversely, IAD changes at the upper lobes were inversely correlated with these clinical parameters. Interestingly, this change in IAD was significantly correlated with changes in lobar drug deposition ( r 2=0.30, p<0.001).