BACKGROUND: Methacholine challenge testing (MCT) is a common bronchoprovocation technique used to assess airway hyper-responsiveness. We previously demonstrated that the addition of a viral filter to the nebulizer exhalation limb substantially reduced expelled particles during MCT. Our aim was to evaluate whether this modification affects the delivered dose of methacholine. METHODS: A mechanical ventilator was connected to a lung simulator with breathing frequency 15 breaths/min, tidal volume 500 mL, inspiratory-expiratory ratio 1:1, with a sinusoidal waveform. We compared methacholine dose delivery using the Hudson Micro Mist or AeroEclipse II BAN nebulizers powered by either a dry gas source or a compressor system. A filter placed in line between the nebulizer and test lung was weighed before and after 1 min of nebulized methacholine delivery. Mean inhaled mass was measured with and without a viral filter on the exhalation limb. Dose delivery was calculated by multiplying the mean inhaled mass by the respirable fraction (particles < 5 lm) and inhalation time. Unpaired t test was used to compare methacholine dose delivery with and without viral filter placement. RESULTS: The addition of a viral filter did not significantly affect methacholine dose delivery across all devices tested. Using a 50-psi dry gas source, dose delivered with or without a viral filter did not differ with the Hudson (422.3 lg vs 282.0 lg, P 5.11) or the AeroEclipse nebulizer (563.0 lg vs 657.6 lg, P 5.59). Using the compressor, dose delivered with and without a viral filter did not differ with the Hudson (974.0 lg vs 868.0 lg, P 5.03) or the AeroEclipse nebulizer (818.0 lg vs 628.5 lg, P 5.42). CONCLUSIONS: The addition of a viral filter to the nebulizer exhalation limb did not affect methacholine dose during bronchoprovocation testing. Routine use of a viral filter should be considered to improve pulmonary function technician safety and infection control measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- infection control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine