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    Chest physiotherapy is an essential part of the treatment of respiratory diseases with increased respiratory secretion and ineffective cough. To date, there have been no studies on the effect of high frequency chest wall oscillatory (HFCWO) therapy on respiratory muscle strength, ventilation and gas exchange. The aim of this study was therefore to assess these three factors in healthy participants. Respiratory muscle strength was measured before and immediately after HFCWO therapy in 25 healthy participants. During the treatment, we continuously measured ventilation parameters, gas exchange, oxygen saturation and heart rate. All participants underwent HFCWO sessions twice (with 24hours difference) with the same procedure. Symptoms during the session and discomfort were measured with the visual analog scale (VAS). HFCWO therapy produced a change in breathing pattern with increased ventilation associated with altered gas exchange. Heart rate also increased, with no changes in oxygenation. There was no effect, either beneficial or deleterious, on the strength of respiratory muscles. Up to 20% of participants reported substantial discomfort (VAS≥5/10) during the session. This study shows that, during the application of HFCWO therapy in healthy participants, ventilation and heart rate increased. However, there were undesirable effects on gas exchange with a high degree of intolerance among volunteers, with no effects on respiratory muscle strength. Copyright © 2020 Sociedad Española de Rehabilitación y Medicina Física. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.


    A Balañá Corberó, M Admetlló Papiol, A Sancho Muñoz, M Kallouchi, D Badenes, D A Rodríguez, J Martínez-Llorens. Effects of high frequency chest wall oscillatory (HFCWO) therapy on gas exchange and ventilation in healthy participants]. Rehabilitacion. 2021 Jan-Mar;55(1):30-37

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    PMID: 32660842

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