Study published in the European Respiratory Journal

Twice-daily slow expiration with the glottis open in a lateral posture (ELTGOL) over one year in bronchiectasis patients facilitates secretion removal, and is associated with fewer exacerbations, improves quality of life, and reduces cough impact, according to a study published in the ERJ.

The authors claim it is the first long-term randomised controlled trial of an airway clearance technique (ACT), and the first to compare an ACT with a placebo in patients with bronchiectasis.

A total of 44 bronchiectasis patients, confirmed via chest CT scan, were randomly assigned to perform either ELTGOL or placebo exercises (1:1), and were blinded to which group they belonged to.

Patients were assessed over seven visits from baseline entry to up to 12 months. Three patients in the ELTGOL group and two patients in the placebo group did not complete the study.

Researchers found that after one year of performing ELTGOL twice daily, the overall sputum volume of patients continued to be higher in the treatment group than the placebo group, and the ELTGOL group had a median of 10 mL higher than at baseline.

The authors state that the higher sputum volumes were associated with a reduction in the number of exacerbations, and a significant improvement in quality of life and cough impact following six months of treatment with ELTGOL; improvements were maintained up the end of the 12-month study period.

Read the abstract: