What is the role of hypertonic saline inhalation in the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF)?

Updated: Oct 22, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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In addition to mucolytics such as dornase alfa, hypertonic saline inhalation has been proposed as a therapy to increase hydration of airway surface liquid in patients with CF. [69, 70] Elkins et al reported that patients receiving 7% hypertonic saline (4 mL via nebulizer bid) had improved lung function and fewer pulmonary exacerbations, compared with patients receiving normal saline in a similar fashion. [71] Hypertonic saline was not associated with worsening bacterial infections or inflammation.

The Pulmonary Therapies Committee of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recommends long-term use of hypertonic saline for patients with cystic fibrosis aged 6 years or older to improve lung function and to reduce the number of exacerbations. [72]

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