Airway humidification during high-frequency percussive ventilation

Patrick F. Allan, Michael J. Hollingsworth, Gordon C. Maniere, Anthony K. Rakofsky, Kevin K. Chung, Gregory A. Naworol, John A. Ward, Michelle Perello, Michael J. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We were concerned about the risk of inadequate humidification during high-frequency percussive ventilation (HFPV). METHODS: We studied 5 humidifiers during HFPV with a lung model, at bias gas flows of 10 L/min, 30 L/min, and 50 L/min, and compared the results to those from a comparator ventilator/humidifier setup and to the minimum temperature (30°C) and humidity (30 g/L) recommended by the American Association for Respiratory Care, at both regular room temperature and a high ambient temperature. Temperature was measured at the humidifier outflow point and at the artificial carina. Humidity was measured at the artificial carina. RESULTS: Of the 7 HFPV/humidifier combinations, 2 (the MR850 at a bias flow of 50 L/min, and the ConchaTherm Hi-Flow with VDR nebulizer) provided a carinal temperature equivalent to the comparator setup at room temperature, whereas one HFPV/humidifier combination (the ConchaTherm Hi-Flow with modified programming, at bias flows of 30 L/min and 50 L/min) provided a higher carinal temperature. At high ambient temperature, all of the setups delivered lower carinal temperature than the comparator setup. Only 2 setups (the ConchaTherm with modified programming at a bias flow of 50 L/min, and the ConchaTherm Hi-Flow with VDR nebulizer) provided carinal humidification equivalent to the comparator setup, without regard to ambient temperature; the other humidifiers were less effective. The ConchaTherm with modified programming, and the ConchaTherm with the VDR nebulizer provided the most consistent humidification. CONCLUSION: HFPV's distinctive gas-flow mechanism may impair gas heating and humidification, so all humidification systems should be tested with HFPV prior to clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway humidification
  • High-frequency percussive ventilation
  • High-frequency ventilation


Dive into the research topics of 'Airway humidification during high-frequency percussive ventilation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this