• Glenn Hearson

A Comparison of Two Nebulisers for Performing Sputum Induction to Assess Airway Inflammation (FLAME)

Updated: Jun 10, 2019


We have now commenced a new study researching nebulised sputum induction to assess airway inflammation in patients with Asthma and COPD. The study Chief Investigator is Professor Tim Harrison.

What is the purpose of the study?

Sputum is the mucus substance that is produced from the lungs and airways (breathing tubes) when a person coughs or spits.

There are many different types of cells in sputum which can be analysed in a laboratory. This can assist in the measurement of inflammation in the airways and may help health care professionals make treatment decisions.


Often, to help produce sputum for analysis, patients need to inhale a saline (salty) solution through an electrically powered machine called a nebuliser. It creates an aerosol of the saline which is then inhaled through a mouthpiece. They are then asked to cough and spit sputum into a container. This is called a sputum induction and this method of sampling the airways has been used for many years. The procedure is usually well tolerated but it can be a little uncomfortable for patients at times.

The purpose of this study is to compare two different types of nebuliser machine which could be used for sputum induction. We would like to see how comfortable they are for you, how long it takes for you to produce a sample and if one nebuliser produces a better quality of sputum sample than the other.

For more information contact;

paula.almeida@nottingham.ac.uk or katherine.m.smith@nottingham.ac.uk

#COPD #asthma #asthmastudy #copdstudy

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