Lung Flute improves symptoms and health status in COPD with chronic bronchitis: A 26 week randomised controlled trial.
Authors: Sanjay Sethi, Jingjing Yin and Pamela K Anderson. Clinical and Translational Medicine 2014.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by mucus hypersecretion that contributes to disease related morbidity and is associated with increased mortality.
The Lung Flute® is a new respiratory device that produces a low frequency acoustic wave with moderately vigorous exhalation to increase mucus clearance.
We hypothesised that the Lung Flute, used on a twice daily basis will provide clinical benefit to patients with COPD with chronic bronchitis.
We performed a 26 week randomised, non-intervention controlled, single center, open label trial in 69 patients with COPD and Chronic Bronchitis.
The primary endpoint was change in respiratory symptoms measured with the Chronic COPD Questionnaire (CCQ). Secondary endpoints included health status, assessed by the St. George Respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ), BODE (Body-Mass Index, Airflow Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise Capacity) index score and exacerbation frequency.
While the control patients did not demonstrate any significant changes in the primary endpoint (CCQ change at 26 weeks of +0.01, p = 0.08), a trend (p = 0.08) to decrease (improvement) in the CCQ (-0.23 at 26 weeks) was seen with the Lung Flute.
Furthermore, a significant improvement in the symptom domain of the CCQ was seen only with the lung flute (-0.42, p = 0.004). Health status (SGRQ) improvement, was also only seen with the Lung Flute (-3.23, p = 0.03).
The BODE score increased in the control group (3.31 at baseline, 4.14 at 26 weeks), however it remained stable in the Lung Flute arm (3.16 at baseline and 26 weeks), with the changes from baseline being significantly different between the 2 arms (p = 0.01). There was a trend for less exacerbations in the Lung Flute group (p = 0.07).
Adverse effects were minor, with only 1 patient discontinuing treatment because of lack of efficacy. Serious adverse effects seen were all determined to be unrelated to the device use.
The Lung Flute is a safe and effective treatment in COPD with chronic bronchitis, providing a wide array of benefits.