Delivery of metered dose inhaler aerosols to paralyzed and nonparalyzed rabbits
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OBJECTIVE: To assess whether paralysis alters pulmonary deposition of albuterol delivered by metered dose inhaler and spacer to small animals. DESIGN: A parallel group study of intubated and ventilated rabbits. INTERVENTIONS: Animals in group 1 (n = 7) were paralyzed with intravenous pancuronium, and ventilated at a rate of 30 breaths/ min. The animals in group 2 (n = 6) were ventilated at a rate of 10 breaths/min under light anesthesia without paralysis. In this latter group, spontaneous respiration continued at a rate of 40 to 50 breaths/min. Both groups were maintained at PaCO2 of 35 to 40 torr (4.7 to 5.3 kPa), and other ventilatory settings were identical. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Technetium-99m labeled albuterol aerosol was delivered by metered dose inhaler via a spacer device to both groups. Pulmonary deposition of the aerosol, determined by measuring the radioactivity in the lung tissues at autopsy, was expressed as percent of the total radioactivity dispensed by the metered dose inhaler. Group 2 showed significantly greater lung deposition than group 1 (0.510 +/- 0.076 [SEM]% vs. 0.226 +/- 0.054%, p = .0094). Deposition in the airway, the endotracheal tube, and the ventilator circuit did not differ significantly. CONCLUSION: Metered dose inhaler delivery of aerosolized medications to ventilated rabbits is significantly enhanced if respiration is not controlled. This observation might have implications for the delivery of therapeutic aerosols to newborns and young infants receiving slow, intermittent, mandatory ventilation.
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