Vest Reduces Exacerbations, Antibiotic Use, and Stabilizes Lung Function as Part of a Treatment Algorithm

lungs with gears

Electromed, Inc. has announced that a new, first-of-its-kind study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine found that use of the SmartVest® Airway Clearance System as part of a treatment algorithm significantly decreased exacerbations requiring hospitalization and antibiotic use among non-CF bronchiectasis patients. The study also demonstrated stability of lung function post algorithm-based treatment, suggesting early initiation of high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy may slow the otherwise normal progression of the disease.

“Our study demonstrates an algorithm of care emphasizing chest physiotherapy improves key outcomes including hospitalizations for patients with non-CF bronchiectasis,” said George Solomon, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and lead investigator of the study.

Bronchiectasis is an irreversible, chronic lung condition characterized by enlarged and permanently damaged bronchi. The condition is associated with recurrent lower respiratory infections, inflammation, reduction in pulmonary function, impaired respiratory secretion clearance, increased hospitalizations and medication use, and increased morbidity and mortality.

The study was an observational comparative retrospective cohort study evaluating the efficacy of a treatment algorithm in 65 patients with radiographic and symptom confirmed bronchiectasis. Patients were treated per the algorithm if they reported greater than two exacerbations in the previous year and symptoms, including chronic cough, sputum production, or dyspnea. Results show that at one-year:

  • Exacerbations requiring hospitalization were significantly reduced (1.3 ± 1.0 pre vs. 0.46 ± 0.81 post, p < 0.0001).
  • Antibiotic use was significantly reduced (2.5 ± 0.86 pre vs 2.1 ± 0.92 post, p < 0.0001).
  • The mean FEV1 remained stable post enrollment (1.85 ± 0.60 L pre vs 1.89 ± 0.60 L post).

“This landmark study is the first to independently evaluate bronchiectasis treatment using a standard of care that includes SmartVest (HFCWO) therapy,” said Kathleen Skarvan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Electromed. “The results speak for themselves: early initiation of therapy decreases severe exacerbations, reduces antibiotic use, and stabilizes lung function for bronchiectasis patients.”

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